Located in the state of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong, also referred as ‘God’s own garden’ has won the acclaim of being the cleanest village in Asia in 2003.It was again declared the cleanest village in India in 2005. The village known for its cleanliness is located around 90 km from Shillong and is a community based eco-tourism initiative. The community has made collective effort to maintain the ambience of a clean village.
The adage "Neighbours envy, owners pride' is apt for Mawlynnong as it has earned the distinction of being one of the cleanest villages in Asia, a fact that every Mawlynnong villager is proud of and other villagers are envy of.
The village is quite pretty, especially in the monsoons when there is lush greenery all around, with waterfalls paving the way to small streams and abundance of flowering orchids dangling from the trees and hedges add to the beauty of the village.
The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture. They mostly grow betel nut. About 82 households live in Mawlynnong. Keeping the surrounding environment clean is an age old tradition. Discover India magazine declared the village as the cleanest in Asia in 2003.
The onus to keep the village clean lies with every person residing in the village. Local cleaning the roads, picking up leaves and throwing garbage in the bin is a very common sight. Bamboo garbage bins adorn every nook and corner of the village highlight the consciousness of cleanliness among the villagers. Cleanliness is an age old tradition and a way of life for all villagers.
The village also offers breathtaking view of Bangladesh plains as it is located on the Indo-Bangla border. Surprisingly, the village has hundred percent literacy and most of the villagers are conversant with the English language. The village offers a number of small tea shops, where you can relish a hot of cup of tea with some snacks.
Mawlynnong village has set an example for others that needs to be replicated in other villages.
The world salutes to the 'spirit of cleanliness' exhibited by the villagers through their self sustained efforts.
Mawlynnong, located about 90 km from Shillong and 92 km from Cherrapunjee can be reached by road.
The nearest airport is Shillong. From Shillong airport you can take a taxi till Khasi Hills Sumo stand at Bara Bazaar market. From here shared sumo run till Mawlynnong.
Mawlynnong can also be visited as part of package tours along with other destinations of the North East. You can visit it as a day's trip from either Shillong or Cherrapunjee or you can opt to stay there.
It is a small village. Take a walk across the clean streets.
The village offers picturesque natural beauty, a trek to the living root bridge at a neighbouring village Riwai. The village also offers a sight of natural balancing rock, a strange natural phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rock.
Another interesting feature not to be missed is the "Sky Watch". This 85 feet high bamboo structure created with bamboo and natural ropes offers a lovely view of the Bangladesh plains.
Take a trek to the Living Root bridge at a neighbouring village Riwai. Visit the bamboo bridge.
There is nothing to buy here, except some souvenir. Small cute broomsticks sell for little over a dollar. This a place where you can enjoy nature and the clean beautiful, ideal village.
Tea Chappati and Rice is available in odd two three stalls. The quality of the food offered in quite tasty and enjoyable. Local Chicken prepared in local style is available. The food offered is not spicy and is great way to fill up your hunger after you have visited by trekking along the village, visiting the Living Roots Bridge and Sky View and the cleanliness of the village is the greatest attraction. This village is now also a smoke free zone.
- India Beacons Sojourn, 1 Indra Roy Road, Room No. 8 (1st Floor), Kolkata - 700025, Phone: +91 9903295920, +91 2419 1976, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Arranges homestays.
You can also book Mawlynnong guest house by calling Deepak Laloo or Carol Nongrum (0364-2502420, 09863115302). The price as of Jan 2012 is ₹3000 for a larger room ( 4 person) and ₹1500 for a smaller room ( 2 person).