Mawlynnong is a picturesque village tucked away in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, India. Boasting the well-deserved title of “Asia’s Cleanest Village,” (by Discover India magazine) Mawlynnong offers a remarkable combination of natural beauty and a deep commitment to cleanliness and sustainability.
Mawlynnong, predominantly inhabited by the Khasi tribes, is home to nearly 100 families. The residents of this village are renowned for their humble way of life and their unwavering dedication to cleanliness. With a deep sense of community spirit, the people of Mawlynnong collaborate harmoniously to ensure the pristine upkeep of their village.
Location of Mawlynnong
Mawlynnong is situated in Pynursla Block in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, India. This charming village is located just 90 kilometers away from the capital city of Shillong. Surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong offers a tranquil escape from bustling urban life. Its serene location near the Indo-Bangladesh border adds to its allure, making it a hidden gem worth exploring.
Cleanliness is The Way of Life
Cleanliness is ingrained in the very fabric of life in Mawlynnong. This village’s claim to fame as the “Cleanest Village in Asia” is a testament to its unwavering commitment to cleanliness and sustainability. Mawlynnong takes immense pride in its spotless streets, well-tended gardens, and firm stance against littering.
From a tender age, children are taught the significance of maintaining a clean environment and are entrusted with the responsibility to uphold it. Witnessing the absence of plastic waste and observing locals diligently sweeping the streets with bamboo brooms will leave you in awe. Mawlynnong’s remarkable dedication to cleanliness serves as an inspiring example to the entire world.
God’s Own Garden
Mawlynnong village is often hailed as a divine paradise, often referred to as ‘God’s Own Garden.’ In this idyllic village, almost every household boasts a garden adorned with vibrant flowering plants. The abundant greenery further enhances the enchanting allure of this immaculate village. During the monsoon season, Mawlynnong flourishes with even more resplendent shades of green, transforming it into a breathtaking haven of natural beauty.
Mawlynnong village sets an exceptional example when it comes to environmental preservation and cleanliness. The village community, both residents and visitors alike, strictly adheres to a set of regulations that prohibit littering and plastic usage within its premises.
Innovative approaches to waste management further highlight their unwavering dedication to sustainability. Utilizing tree leaves and biodegradable waste to create nutrient-rich manure showcases their resourcefulness and commitment to eco-friendly practices.
Things To Do and See in and Around Mawlynnong
Explore the Sky View Point
Climb up to the Sky View Point, a bamboo watchtower, and ascend a bamboo bridge that stands approximately four stories high. From the top of machan, you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of the village and witness the splendor of Meghalaya’s lush hills. This elevated vantage point provides an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes, with the hills stretching as far as the eye can see, extending all the way to Bangladesh.
Within the village of Mawlynnong, an enchanting mid-size waterfall awaits, offering a delightful retreat for visitors. This picturesque waterfall serves as an idyllic picnic spot, where tourists can indulge in a serene afternoon surrounded by nature’s beauty. Immerse yourself in the tranquil ambiance as the soothing sound of the cascading water creates a melodic backdrop, providing a truly peaceful and rejuvenating experience.
Balancing Rock of Mawlynnong
Discover the Balancing Rock on the village outskirts—a fascinating natural wonder. This unique formation features a massive boulder delicately perched on a smaller stone. Despite the passage of time, storms and cyclones have failed to disrupt its equilibrium. Enclosed within a protective fence amidst bamboo plantations, locals refer to it as Nature’s Balancing Rock or Maw Ryngkew Sharatia. According to legends, this site may have witnessed ancient human sacrifices. Experience the resilience of nature and the cultural intrigue surrounding this captivating destination.
Living Root Bridge and Riwai Village
Once you have explored the renowned attractions of Mawlynnong village, venture just 2 kilometers away to discover the charming Riwai village. This hidden gem is celebrated for its breathtaking trekking trails through lush rainforests. However, the highlight that draws tourists in large numbers is the mesmerizing living root bridge. This unique bridge is crafted using the aerial roots of rubber fig trees, intricately woven to form a natural pathway for crossing the river. Prepare to be enthralled by the harmonious blend of nature and human ingenuity as you marvel at the awe-inspiring beauty of this living testament to sustainable engineering.
Dawki and the Umngot River
During your journey from Shillong to Mawlynnong village, a delightful surprise awaits along the way—the pristine Umngot/Dawki River, renowned as India’s cleanest river. Prepare to be amazed as you witness the remarkable clarity of its waters, creating an illusion of boats gliding effortlessly on the riverbed—a truly unforgettable sight. Indulge in a memorable experience by boarding a boat and embarking on a captivating ride through the emerald-hued waters. Embrace this opportunity to immerse yourself in the ethereal beauty of the Umngot River and create lifelong memories.
Learn about the Unique Khasi Matrineal Society
In Mawlynnong village, the Khasis follow a strong tradition of close-knit extended families or clans. Interestingly, the females in this community enjoy a unique privilege. In accordance with their customs, property and wealth are inherited from the mother and passed down to the youngest daughter. Additionally, the youngest daughter carries forward the mother’s surname, preserving their lineage and heritage. This cultural practice highlights the significant role of women in Khasi society, fostering a sense of empowerment and preserving their ancestral ties.
Accommodation at Mawlynnong
Many families in the village open their homes to guests for accommodation. These homestays provide a tranquil retreat away from city chaos, allowing visitors to savor authentic, home-cooked Khasi cuisine infused with local spices. Staying in these homestays also offers a chance to witness and participate in the village’s eco-friendly practices up close. Designed for smaller groups of travelers, these accommodations provide an intimate experience of the local culture and way of life.
Best Time to Visit
Mawlynnong Village in India has a unique climate that distinguishes it from other regions. Its summers are pleasantly mild, ideal for a visit. The monsoon season in Mawlynnong is also captivating. Heavy rainfall transforms the surroundings into a lush green paradise, with vibrant flowers blooming.
The entire environment comes alive, offering a truly captivating experience. Whether it’s the mild summers, charming winters, or lively monsoons, Mawlynnong Village’s distinct beauty invites exploration and appreciation of its natural wonders.
How to Get There
After earning the prestigious title of the cleanest Village in Asia, Mawlynnong has become a sought-after destination for tourists. Thanks to its convenient connectivity with major cities like Shillong and Cherrapunji, reaching Mawlynnong offers a range of transportation choices.
Guwahati serves as the closest major railway station to Mawlynnong, situated around 172 km away. From the railway station, one can opt for a bus or taxi ride to reach the village comfortably.
The nearest airport to Mawlynnong is located in Shillong, approximately 78 km away. Direct flights from Kolkata to Shillong are available, while those traveling from other cities like Delhi may need to take a connecting flight. Upon reaching the airport, taxis or buses can be hired to transport you to Mawlynnong.
The roads leading to Mawlynnong are well-maintained, ensuring a smooth journey. Buses regularly ply between the village and nearby areas such as Cherrapunji and Shillong, making it easy to reach by road.