Mawlynnong is a small village nestled in the East Khasi hills and is known as the cleanest village in Asia. It is located around 72 km from Shillong, the capital city of vibrant Meghalaya.
The tiny village is locally referred to as ‘God’s Own Garden’ and is highly appreciated for its community-based eco-tourism initiative.
Discover India magazine awarded Mawlynnong the title of the ‘Cleanest Village in Asia’ in 2003 and another in 2005 for being the cleanest in India.
After receiving these titles this small beautiful village got a lot of public attention and has become one of the major tourist attractions in Meghalaya.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned Mawlynnong Village during ‘Mann ki Baat’ in 2015 his monthly radio talk show and said,
I was happy to know that in our country there is such a village in the Northeast, in Meghalaya, which is passionately carrying forward the mission of cleanliness for years. It has become the habit of the residents to maintain cleanliness.
Mawlynnong – Cleanliness is a Way of Life
The major tribe in the village is the Khasi people and cleanliness is in their way of life. Keeping the village clean is the collective responsibility of everyone in the village. Even the children also take part in the community cleaning and sanitation.
Littering, use of plastic, and smoking are banned in the village. There are bamboo dustbins all over the village and waste collected in the bins is sent to a pit and turned into manure. Rainwater harvesting is practiced by almost all the villagers.
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Places To See In Mawlynnong
There are many incredible places in and around the ‘cleanest village in Asia’ that can not be missed and will undoubtedly leave you with lasting memories of the village.
Living Root Bridges
The most famous icon of Meghalaya is found in this village, the living root bridges created by weaving the aerial roots of the rubber fig tree with the help of bamboo. These amazing bridges get stronger as they grow older.
The Living Root Bridges have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Another reason to include Mawlynnong in your itinerary is the balancing rock, a huge boulder resting on a smaller stone. It is believed to be an ancient shrine of the Khasi tribals and an important part of the local folklore and culture
In the local Khasi language, it is referred to as Maw Ryngkew Sharatia.
Sky View Tower
You can also admire the Sky View Tower made of bamboo which is 85 feet high and enjoy the panoramic views of Mawlynnong and even the plains of Bangladesh.
The century-old Epiphany Church, with its European architectural style, is another landmark in the village, along with the beautiful tree houses near the church.
Umngot River – The Cleanest River in India
Dawki village is another gem of a place located at a distance of 30 km from Mawlynnong. The village holds a true visual delight of Umngot River which holds the status of being one of the cleanest rivers in India.
The river is also known as the Dawki River or Wah Umngot. A suspension bridge known as the Dawki Bridge hangs over the Umngot River. It was constructed by the Britishers in 1932.
Umngot River offers fun activities like boating, snorkeling, camping & cliff jumping.
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The best time to Visit Mawlynnong
The weather in Mawlynnong remains pleasant throughout the year. The best time to visit is during the monsoon between June to September. During the monsoon, the environment around the village becomes lush green, scenic and the flowers bloom.
Tourists can also visit the village during the festivals of Behdienkhlam in July, Wangala from September to December, and Nongkrem Dance Festival in October.
How To Reach Mawlynnong, Meghalaya
The nearest airport is Shillong which is around 103 km from the village. Private taxis and local transport are easily available from the airport to the village and will take 3 hours
The nearest railway station from Mawlynnong is Guwahati which is around 168 km and will take around 5 hours.
Mawlynnong is well-connected to Shillong, Cherrapunji, and nearby cities. You can easily find private cabs or buses plying between the village and other cities. Several buses or taxis run between Guwahati, Shillong, and Mawlynnong.