Mawlynnong, situated 90 km from Shillong, is famously known as the cleanest village in Asia. It all started with Discover India awarding the title of ‘The Cleanest Village in Asia’ to Mawlynnong in 2003. But, that is not the only thing that the village can be proud of. It has a 100 percent literacy rate and women of this region are known to be extremely empowered in the true sense of the term.
The village is also called ‘God’s Own Garden’ for all the right reasons. The locals actually make an effort to keep the village as clean as possible, and once you visit the village, you would see that everyone is doing their bit in whatever little way they can.
So, let us know more about the reasons why you absolutely must visit Mawlynnong!
- The village and its cleanliness
If you are someone who is obsessed with cleanliness, Mawlynnong is the place to be. Compared to the rest of India, this place is like a heaven for cleanliness freaks. Unlike many other villages, every house here has a toilet. All the houses and shops are neatly maintained. Every little unwanted thing, including the dry leaves falling from trees go straight inside the bamboo dustbins. Smoking is not allowed and if someone breaks the laws, he or she has to pay a heavy fine. Along with cleaning their own houses, people participate actively in sweeping the nearby roads as well and planting trees is something they truly love. It has, in fact, become an integral part of their lifestyle.
- The beauty all around
The beauty of Mawlynnong village is absolutely enchanting. The whole village looks like a large wide garden with orchids blossoming all around. Besides orchids, you can see other varieties of flora and trees everywhere as well. Be it the gushing waterfalls or the small streams, you cannot but be mesmerized by the beauty of the village. It’s best to visit Mawlynnong in monsoons, as during that time, the lush greenery of the village becomes all the more appealing and enticing.
- Living Root Bridge
The Living Root Bridge is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Mawlynnong. It is a masterpiece of nature to say the least and shows what human effort is capable of doing. It is made from rubber tree roots and once they have grown to their maximum potential, some of these roots can even last up to 500 years. The bridge is there to let people cross the river. Across the rocks, you can see the cascading waterfall and also the scenic beauty around the place is quite captivating. The water flowing under the bridge gives a serene feel to the place and you can stay there for some time just to enjoy the view and the aura of the region.
- Mawlynnong Waterfall
The Mawlynnong Waterfall is a breathtaking sight to witness to say the least. It’s still an unexplored place and as you reach there, you would feel like being in closer proximity with nature. From the birds twittering to the colourful orchids blooming in all their glory, this place is nothing short of a wonderland for nature lovers. If you are interested in photography, you can click some really amazing pictures standing at the old bridge close to the waterfall.
- The people
The Mawlynnong village is inhabited by the people of the Khasi tribe. They are some of the nicest and sweetest people you will meet. They are welcoming as well as extremely hospitable with guests. One thing that you will find fascinating is unlike the rest of India, people here do not live under the patriarchal rule. Here, the child takes the name of the mother and the youngest daughter of the family gets all the wealth. So, women empowerment is at another level altogether in Mawlynnong. Also, the literacy rate is known to be 100 percent here and most of the people can speak English really well.
- Local Food
The local food of Mawlynnong is not only delicious but healthy as well. It is prepared from organically grown vegetables and therefore has a number of health benefits. There are enough options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. They have different ways of preparing the pork, such as tossing it in bell peppers and green veggies. Also, in-house bred animals and birds are used for cooking meat. Some popular dishes here are- Jadoh and Tungrymbai.
Along with being Asia’s cleanest village, Mawlynnong has a lot more to offer as a place. From the people to the tourist attractions to the mouth-watering food, there is so much to admire and so much to love. It’s a place that will make you feel more connected to nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, you will be able to spend some quiet moments in your own company.