Mawlynnong- Asia’s cleanest village

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Entrance to Mawlynnong village

Shillong, March 6: Mawlynnong village located in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, also referred as ‘God’s own garden’ has won the acclaim of being the cleanest village in Asia”. Mawlynnong has won this acclaim of being the cleanest village in Asia in 2003 courtesy Discovery magazine. The village has also won the acclaim of being the cleanest village in India in 2005.


The village known for its cleanliness is located around 90 kms 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 village offers picturesque natural beauty, a trek to the living root bridge at a neighboring village Riwai. The village also offers a sight of natural balancing rock, a strange natural phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rock.


Mawlynnong offers one the opportunity to view natural beauty in abundance from the Sky Walk, a 80 feet high "machan' or observatory. You can also visit the Living Root Bridge and Natural Balancing Rock. For nature lovers, one day trek offers living amidst nature in all its glory.


Mawlynnong is located about 90 km from Shillong and 92 kms from Cherrapunjee along the Indo-Bangladesh border. It can be reached by road. The nearest airport is Shillong in Meghalaya.


The village is picturesque and its scenic beauty is dazzling. Mawlynnong has earned the distinction of being one of the cleanest villages in Asia and all the villagers must be proud of. Cleanliness of the village is the sole responsibility of every villager. One finds a board of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ on how to keep the village clean at the very entrance of this cleanest village.


'Welcome to Mawlynnong -- God's Own Garden' -- reads another tin board, as church bells peal in the background in this neat croton-lined village where tourists pay an entry fee of Rs 50 for a visit.



The famous root bridge

What draws tourists here is not only interest in the village, but the magnificent root bridge in the neighboring village of Riwai. A brisk walk down a series of stone steps takes you to a truly natural marvel, a mighty and magnificent bridge made of thick roots that joins the banks of the river.


Most tourists come here during the month of Puja, but that afternoon visitors from Maharashtra outnumbered the others. There are less than hundred homes in this small, quiet village which falls in the Pynursla block in the East Khasi Hills, Meghalaya.


In this cleanest village of our country one can discover the dignified, pleasant, simple folk who have collectively made their village a model one based on the spirit of community.

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