199 Members! The World’s Largest Family Lives Under One Roof

The village of Baktawng, in India’s north-eastern state of Mizoram, is home to the world’s largest known family, 199 people who live under the same roof in a giant building.

Pu Ziona was the patriarch of what was generally regarded as the world’s largest family – 38 wives, 89 children, and 36 children. Ziona passed away in 2021, at the age of 76, due to health complications caused by hypertension and diabetes, but his family continues to live under the same roof in the impressive living complex Ziona built in the hills of Baktawng. Some of his children got wives of their own, some more than one, and the family member count now stands at 199. They all gather in the great hall of their home twice a day to eat, in a scene that looks more like a busy canteen than a family dining room. The members share everything, from the daily workload to the food and finances, and even though everyone wants to carry on the legacy of Pu Ziona, things are changing for the world’s largest family…

“I am not my father! He was chosen by God, but we are just normal human beings and can’t have multiple wives,” Mr. Record, one of Ziona’s younger sons recently told The Straits Times.

Other members of the family are open to sending their children to places where they might get a better education and improve their chances of being successful in life, and there is currently another house being built in the village for the growing family, so the days of them living under one roof are numbered. Still, the novelty of the unusual arrangement still attracts an impressive number of tourists to the remote village of Baktawng.


Pu Ziona headed a millenarian Christian sect known as Chhuan Thar Kohhran (Church of the New Generation) in the state of Mizoram, and was regarded by many as a prophet and a ‘chosen man of God’. Therefore, he faced virtually no opposition from the members of his community or his own family when he kept taking on new wives. If anything, local families gladly gave their daughters away to such a highly regarded man.

Chhuan Thar Kohhran endorses polygamy and its 2,600 members, most of whom live in Baktawng, believe in a post-apocalyptic ‘golden age’ during which they will be spared divine wrath and awarded special privileges.


Even nearly two years after his passing, Pu Ziona’s legacy can be felt within his community. Pictures and painted portraits of him still decorate the family of his family home, and the values he professed are carried on by his descendants.

Keeping a family of 199 members together while also feeding them and putting clothes on their backs is no easy task. Luckily, everyone pitches in, whether by working in one of the five family piggeries raising about 100 pigs for meat consumption, in the fields, planting various crops, or laboring in one of the family’s four carpentry workshops and one aluminum workshop.


The two daily meals alone are a monumental task, as they involve at least 80 kg of rice plus many other ingredients, which are prepared in giant cauldrons that then have to be cleaned. But these too are shared tasks, so no one complains.

“As humans, we all face difficulties and hardships, but our family has a more positive side as we are a huge family supportive of one another,” one of Pu Ziona’s daughters-in-law said. “When we fall sick, we support one another.”


Mr Nunparliana, Ziona’s eldest son, is aware that the family’s polygamist legacy may die with him – he has two wives – but he remains hopeful that his larger-than-life family will remain united for a long time.