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Baktawng, Aizawl District

World's Largest Family : Pu Chana Pawl

Recorded in the Guinness Book of World Record as the World's Largest Family, the joint family is headed by Pu Ziona, who is the father of …………….. children and husband to……………..wives. The extraordinary family lives in Baktawng Village 70 Kms from Aizawl. The family owns jhums, orchards, furniture workshops, manufactures aluminium utensils and are known for their self sufficiency, craftsmanship, hardwork and entrepreneurship skills.

The sect, a breakaway group of the Presbyterian Church came into being on June 12, 1942 after Khuangtuaha, the founder was evicted from Hmawngkawn village by the village chief. Christian missionaries felt that the theology of Khuangtuaha who believed in the use of drums as an instrument of worship was too liberal and dangerous. The members of the sect were earlier known as ˜Khuangtuaha Pawl' and after the death of Khuangtuaha renamed themselves as 'Pu Chana Pawl'. They still observe June 12 every year as 'Bawkte Kut' or 'Festival of the Hut' to commemorate the eviction and birth of the sect.

Chana, who inherited the baton from his late brother Khuangtuaha believed in polygamy and that God permitted him to marry as many wives he could feed. After Chana died on 27th February, 1997, the leadership of the sect was taken over by his eldest son Ziona, who reportedly has more wives than his father.

The members of the cult do not mind being called a religious sect because they take pride in nurturing the legacy of 'Lalpa Kohhran' (God's Church) founded by their 'Godfather' Chana in 1966. The administration of the settlement is so complete that besides the religious aspect of the unit, the Lalpa Kohhran family have their own school called Chhuanthar Students Home (Class V to Class X) and a playground they call Chhuanthar Stadium. Ziona lives with his large extended family in a big house called 'Chhuanthar Run' (House of the New Generation).

Their way of life can be experienced by staying with them at their guest house in Baktawng Village.

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