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When I say Asia’s Cleanest Village which pictures your mind instantly starts clicking to? No No don’t go to Singapore or Japan, but its time to feel proud. Yes, its Mawlynnong In Meghalaya, India. It does makes me feel immensely proud to talk about this beautiful village which is acclaimed as Asia’s Cleanest Village. Located at around 2 hours from the capital of Meghalaya, Shillong this place is a true heaven in all senses. So today I take the pride of introducing you to Mawlynnong and tell you what more this place offers you beside the cleanliness its famous for.

Mawlynnong In Meghalaya, India’s Pride

Mawlynnong photoPhoto by travelling slacker

No one would ever believe that any place in India could be so clean that it could actually top the list of cleanest villages in India. Are you too one of those Indians who cringe when you see litter around you? Are you doing your part by not contributing to the litter and even encouraging your family and friends of not doing it? If you know anyone who doesn’t listen to you, then this write up should surely make a difference. let’s together set foot on the ‘Asia’s cleanest village’ Mawlynnong.

This village doesn’t really have any hi-tech arrangements to keep their little paradise clean, but it’s this village is maintained by the villagers themselves. According to the villagers of Mawlynnong, it has been a practice from the time of their forefather to keep their houses and surrounding areas spick and span. Mawlynnong for its first “Clean Tag” by Discover India Magazine in the year 2003 and it was popularised by BBC in 2005.

Children Of Mawlynnong Are Designated With The Cleaning Task

khasi children photoPhoto by Anthony Knuppel

One really interesting fact about the secret behind the cleanliness of this village is that the Kids here are given the actual task of keeping the area and surroundings of the house clean. As soon as the child reaches Grade 1 or Grade 2 in school they are delegated the task to start cleaning and if they don’t do it, they are not given food.

Mawlynnong: Here Are 11 Things You Can’t Miss To See & Do

khasi children photoPhoto by travelling slacker

1. Beautiful Trekking Tracks

The tracks near Mawlynnog are still quite raw, rustic as they are fairly untouched by the ways of cities. This makes the surrounding areas quite promising for a good trekking experience. There are beautiful roses, orchids, lilies, carnivorous pitcher plants. If you love birds, then this place is a paradise of birds for your knowledge.

2. Walk To Explore The Best In This Village

Nope ditch the car and walk along this beautiful village if you really want to feel the essence. You can take a help of a guide if you feel scared to get lost in this enchanting village. Walking is the best way to discover the wonders and mysteries of little Mawlynnong.

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3. Home To 95 Lovely Families

This beautiful little village is home to around 95 charming families. Be ready to wave to the gentle Khasis, Khasis are one of the major tribes in Meghalaya. Khasis trace their ancestry from the mother.

4. Villagers Pave The Pathways

This village had those cobble-stoned routes once upon a time, but now they are replaced with concrete ones. Guess who is doing the work to pave these pathways, its none other than the villagers themselves. Yes, the women do the task of breaking stones while men pave the little pathways.

khasi children photoPhoto by travelling slacker

5. Traditional Bamboo Houses

There are very few concrete houses in Mawlynnog, as the villagers here feel the concept of concrete houses to be ugly. There are more of these traditional bamboo houses, plenteous and some sturdier wooden ones which look absolutely awesome. The houses here potray the traditions of this villahe which is still alive and living strong.

6. Traditional Occupation

Mawlynnog gets quite a lot of revenue from the tourism. But the traditional occupation is still quite alive. Cultivating betel nut, berries, bay leaf, broomcorn, black pepper and scrumptious fruits like pineapple, oranges, lemon and soshang fruit (Local Fruit) are few of the traditional occupation which is still actively practiced.

7. Breathing Bridges – Living Root Bridges

I am sure you wouldn’t have ever heard of a bridge called the “Living Root Bridges” These are man-made wonders of the state of Meghalaya. Why we call them wonders? Well these bridges are made from aerial roots of the banyan tree which are trained to grow in a span of bamboo which is actually secured across the river to another hill. These majestic bridges form over a period of years, well no one really knows the exact duration. They actually climb like wines and form a beautiful bridge, it may actually take some decades to centuries to form one bridge. In case there are gaps in the bridge, then stones are stones are inserted in such gaps to make the bridges strong. Walking on this bridge is a thrilling experience as you can fell the slight swing on the arms of the banyan. Another interesting thing to watch out is the “Living Root Ladders” which are made in a similar fashion.

khasi children photoPhoto by travelling slacker

8. Cheering Churches

Majority of the population in Mawlynnong is Christian. The local churches here are fuled with young kids and elders humming hymns together. There is a local Presbyterian Church and an Anglican Church. Well the sound of the people singing together in the churches echoes all around the village, it would really seem that the churches here cheer up the surroundings.

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9. Tall Views And Steep Falls

There is a tree house in the village which is made of bamboo, it is known as the Sky View. Sky view offers an awesome top view of the Mawlynnong village as also of the neighbouring country Bangladesh. Do not miss seeing the Niriang falls which is not too far from Mawlynnong, so do take a shower under the gushing waters of this mesmerising waterfall.

10. Sail On The Clear Turquoise Waters

On the borders of Bangladesh, Dawki would be the last village of which falls in the Indian part of the country. You would see clear turquoise waters where young and old people go fishing. One interesting thing to watch is their balance that they maintain on the boat. You would see then standing or sitting, fishing or simply having fun I mean anything but they just don’t fall. If you too fell tempted to sail on the waters with them all you need to do is, simply ask.

khasi children photoPhoto by GoiMonitor

11. Tourism Is Destroying The Beauty Of Mawlynnong

Tourism definitely has brought in an additional source of income for the villagers. But apart from income the villagers here have also become more outgoing, as they were quite shy before. Well tourism hasn’t come alone, but it seems with its nuisances. There are beautiful conical, cane bins placed all around the village and also in the nearby locations, but it’s a sad sight to still see a number of wrappers carelessly thrown here and there. If we compare the litter here with the normal Indian standards then it’s definitely quite negligible, but this place is acclaimed as Asia’s cleanest so this is distasteful. It makes me sad to point this out here, but I feel some places should remain untouched from tourism as it spoils the inner beauty totally. Due to increase in tourism and increase in the amount of garbage, it has become quite difficult for the villagers to maintain their village and continue their tradition. Villagers have been forced to employ women for the purpose of cleaning, which earlier they didn’t.

Commercialisation destroys, I hope people who visit this place understand the importance of the place before going there. It is important to appreciate these little treasures of India, rather than just going without having any knowledge. Mawlynnong is India’s little treasure, lets together take care of it.

Featured Photo by ashwin kumar

Also See :

Hnahlan, The Jewel Of Mizoram

Kodinhi: The Village Of Twins In Kerala

The Saga Of Visa Balaji, The Chilkur Balaji Temple Hyderabad

Breaking Coconut: An Essential Offering In All Hindu Rituals

Asia’s Cleanest Village Mawlynnong In Meghalaya

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