Patriarch of 'world's largest family' dies in India

Ziona Chana leaves behind a family of 180.
Ziona Chana leaves behind a family of 180. Photo credit: Twitter - @MizoramGovernor

The man who is believed to be the head of the world's largest polyamorous family has died.

Ziona Chana died on Sunday aged 76. According to The Hindu, Chana is said to be leaving behind an approximately 180 person strong family that lives in Mizoram, India. 

The family is part of a Christian sect called Chana Pawl that has around 2000 followers and allows polygamy for men, it was founded in 1942 by Chana's grandfather, reports BBC. 

Chana lived in a 100 room house with his 38 wives, 89 children and 33 grandchildren - the mansion becoming a local tourist attraction. Information surrounding his exact number of family members varies but local reports have referred to him as holding the "world record" for the largest family. 

Chana's death was confirmed by Mizoram's chief minister Zoramthanga on Sunday. 

"With heavy heart, #Mizoram bid farewell to Mr Zion-a (76), believed to head the world's largest family, with 38 wives and 89 children," he said on Twitter. 

According to The Hindu, Chana was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure. He went into a coma on June 11 after being unable to eat for four days. 

He spent the following days deteriorating at home and was admitted to hospital on Sunday evening where he was pronounced dead on arrival. 

While specifics around his life are difficult to figure out, it's clear Chana's life was of importance to his community, providing it with a "major tourist attraction". 

"Mizoram and his village at Baktawng Tlangnuam has become a major tourist attraction in the state because of the family," Mizoram's chief minister Zoramthanga wrote on Twitter. 

"Rest in Peace Sir!"