Meet the Kulkarnis: India 's tallest family with a combined height of 26ft hope to set a new world record
Family is so tall they never use public transport and ride scooters instead Sharad Kulkarni, 52, is 7ft 1.5ins tall and his wife Sanjot, 46, is 6ft 2.6ins tall.
They stand out wherever they go and now India 's tallest family is hoping to set a new world record with their combined height. The Kulkarnis, from the city of Pune in the west of the country, tower above their countrymen. The family's combined height is a staggering 26ft.
Mr and Mrs Kulkarni were crowned India 's tallest couple by their country's Limca Book of Records after they married in 1989. They had hoped to be named the world's tallest couple by the Guinness Book of Records, until it emerged that Wayne and Laurie Hallquist, from Stockton , California , stand a combined inch taller at 13ft 4ins. Mr Kulkarni said: 'We were a little disheartened. It's nice to have recognition when you live your life being so different. It ends up meaning something. But we're excited about new prospects.' Growing up, Mr and Mrs Kulkarni faced years of teasing and ridicule. When Mr Kulkarni hit 7ft as a teenager he ploughed his energies into sports and ended up playing basketball for his country. But Mrs Kulkarni struggled to go unrecognised and fit in in the remote Indian village where she lived. The pair began to accept early on in their teens that marriage one day might be difficult. Mrs Kulkarni said: 'It's hard for a woman to be taller than a man in India . The man is the more authoritative role so I would never want to marry a smaller man and then him be ridiculed about his wife. 'It was a big possibility that I'd never marry really.'
But Mrs Kulkarni's grandmother spotted Mr Kulkarni walking down a street in Mumbai one evening and approached him. Mr Kulkarni said: 'This older lady came up to me and asked if I was married or single and would I meet her granddaughter who was over 6ft. 'I didn't believe her at first so I refused but my friends persuaded me to take her number.'
A few weeks later Mr Kulkarni's parents called the number and a meeting was arranged for the potential couple, as is traditional in India. Mr Kulkarni, who works at a bank, said: 'Many women have claimed they're 6ft but then, when we meet they're only about 5ft 10ins and too small for me. 'But when I met Sanjot I was happy she was well over 6ft. I knew we'd be happy together.'The couple married in December 1988. A year later Limca Book of Records pronounced them India 's tallest married couple.