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Everything You Need To Know About Mawlynnong: The Cleanest Village in India

Find out how this hamlet earned its title and why you should plan a visit to this destination.

Team ZZ

Everyone in Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong village — from young children to elderly grandmothers — takes cleanliness very seriously. No wonder this small village of 600 people in the Northeastern state is known as the cleanest village in India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi recognised Mawlynnong as the cleanest village in the state in 2015. A year later, in 2016, he recognised it as the ‘cleanest village in Asia’. This immaculate reputation has certainly benefited local tourism. A village head reported that earnings had increased by 60 per cent as a result of increased tourist traffic, according to NPR in 2017.

What makes Mawlynnong the cleanest village in India?

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Cleanliness is not an additional task for the inhabitants of this village. Instead, it’s a natural way of life! The villagers compost waste in bamboo bins that are placed outside their homes. Smoking and using plastic is strictly prohibited in this community. Anyone caught throwing trash on the road faces serious consequences.

Who lives in Mawlynnong village?

The Khasi tribe populates Mawlynnong. It is a well-known community, especially for its rejection of patriarchal dominance in society. They follow the matrilineal system in which daughters inherit their mother's surname. Mawlynnong is not only the cleanest village in India and Asia, but it also has a 100 per cent literacy rate.

Tourist attractions around Mawlynnong village

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The cleanest village in India is also exceptionally beautiful. Thatched Khasi cottages and gardens brimming with vibrant flowers line the village’s lanes. Nohsngithiang Falls, Mawsmai Cave and the Umngot River, which connects India and Bangladesh, are some of the major tourist attractions near Mawlynnong.

Sky View Point is a popular attraction in Mawlynnong Village. It’s an 85-foot-tall observation tower made of bamboo. On reaching the summit, you can enjoy panoramic views of the landscape, including some Bangladesh scenery, since the village is located on the Indo-Bangladesh border.

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Amidst the silence, you will hear the roar of the Mawlynnong waterfall. It’s a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a picnic with your loved ones. Another must-visit site is the Church of Epiphany. The 100-year-old structure is a prominent feature of Mawlynnong village in Meghalaya.

While in Meghalaya, you cannot miss the Living Root Bridges, which are in line for the UNESCO World Heritage Site title. The suspension bridges, made of live roots, dangle over rivers and are built by connecting the aerial roots of massive rubber trees.

What to eat in Mawlynnong Village?

The best thing about Mawlynnong's food is that it's all made with organically-grown vegetables. The meat is sourced from birds and animals raised in-house. You can choose between pork tossed with bell peppers and greens, freshly-cut and smoked banana flower, Jadoh (a meat and rice-based treat), and Tungrymbai (a delectable web of fermented soybeans, bamboo stalks, and local seasonings).

When is the best time to visit Mawlynnong village of Meghalaya?

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The weather in Mawlynnong is pleasant all year round. Nonetheless, the best time to visit Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, is during the monsoon season. The rainy season transforms the area into one of the most beautiful in the country, filling it with lush greenery. Behdienkhlam in July, Wangala from September to December, and the Nongkrem Dance Festival in November are just a few of the major events to experience in and around Mawlynnong Village.

How to reach Mawlynnong, Meghalaya?

Mawlynnong became a popular tourist destination after being named Asia's Cleanest Village. It is easily accessible by road from major cities such as Shillong and Cherrapunji. The majority of the roads leading to Mawlynnong are in excellent condition.

Buses connect the hamlet to nearby cities. Shillong, 78 kilometres away from Mawlynnong, has the closest airport. There are frequent flights between Kolkata and Shillong. If you're flying in from another city, such as Delhi, you'll need to connect from Kolkata. Take a taxi or a bus from the airport or station to Mawlynnong.

Where to stay in Mawlynnong village?

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There are several pleasant homestays in Mawlynnong where you can be close to nature while still mixing with the locals. Many of the homestays are traditional cottages, but you will also find modern concrete accommodation. The stay options in Mawlynnong are adequate with the most essential amenities available for tourists.

Photo: Shutterstock
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