Chanu, who is only the 2nd Indian to achieve the feat, lifted 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk to total an impressive 194kg in the women's 48kg, setting a new national record in the process.
Mirabai Chanu became the first Indian in over two decades to claim a gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championship in Anaheim, USA, exorcising the ghosts of her forgettable outing at the Rio Olympics.
Chanu, who is employed with the Indian Railways, lifted 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk to total an impressive 194kg in the women's 48kg, setting a new national record in the process.
Seeing the tricolour from the podium, tears of joy rolled down her cheeks, as Chanu picked up a rare honour for an Indian at the marquee event.
Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleshwari had won the top prize in worlds twice -- in 1994 and 1995.
Chanu's outing in Anaheim was very different from the way things panned out in Rio last year when she put up a disappointing performance as she could not get an overall total in women's 48kg after failing to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in clean & jerk section.
In a field of 12 lifters at the Rio Games, she was one of two lifters who did not finish (DNF) her event.
Thailand's Sukcharoen Thunya won the silver medal with a total lift of 193, while Colombian Segura Ana Iris bagged the bronze with 182kg.
Vietnam had a one-two finish in the men's 56kg, and Francisco Mosquera Valencia of Colombia became the first non-Asian winner at 62kg since 2003.
In the 56kg weight class Vietnam's Thach Kim, who had finished on the podium behind the North Korean Om Yun-chol in the past three World Championships, lifted 279kg to beat compatriot Tran Le Quoc and Thailand's Witoon Mingmoon.
Mosquera Valencia, a silver medallist in 2015, made up a six kilogram deficit in the snatch to win the 62kg with a total of 300kg from Japan's Yoichi Itokazu and Georgia's Shota Mishvelidze.
North Korea did not enter this year, while nine other leading nations are banned for doping offences.