If the term “cleanest village in Asia” seems improbable to you, you must pay a visit to Mawlynnong Village in Meghalaya. This quaint little village, situated about 80 km from Shillong, has been rightfully bestowed the title by Discover India in the year 2003. It has also been nicknamed ‘God’s Own Garden’ because of the lush greenery dotting the area. The village maintains its reputation to this day and welcomes all visitors with open arms. It upholds age-old Khasi traditions that contribute significantly to the mindset of the natives here, binding them to the ethos of keeping one’s surroundings as clean as possible. Read on to find out more about this fascinating community.
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. The people of Mawlynnong staunchly believe in this principle. As you step into the village, you will find yourself transported to a realm where the word “litter” has little to no meaning. The residents diligently dedicate their efforts toward managing and maintaining a green, clean environment. They recycle water and have a strict ban on the usage of plastic. Their houses are kept squeaky clean, including their bathrooms and kitchens. This village is strictly a no-smoking zone. Children are taught to respect the morals of the community, which are predominantly centred around hygiene and cleanliness. Hence, every resident of the village observes their duty of keeping their village immaculately clean. One will not even find a piece of paper lying around.
Abiding by the Khasi traditions, residents of Mawlynnong also observe matrilineal practices. Here, the children inherit their mother’s name at birth, and the women of the family are in charge of running the household. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya has also achieved an astonishing 100% literacy rate. A visit to Mawlynnong will bring you closer to Khasi culture. The locals are more than happy to take their visitors on a culinary journey. The local cuisine of Mawlynnong comprises delicacies prepared from organically-grown vegetables from the village itself. The residents breed their own cattle and birds, which are consumed in the form of lip-smacking non-vegetarian dishes.
Besides its striking cleanliness and a rather unique yet admirable lifestyle, Mawlynnong is also home to iconic tourist attractions. The Nohwet Living Root Bridge is a marvellous representation of traditional Khasi architecture. It was constructed by weaving the roots of rubber trees around a framework. The construction took generations because it mostly depends on the growth of the trees. The characteristic feature of such living root bridges is their strength, which grows with the age of the bridge. Another must-visit attraction is the Church of Epiphany, a century-old church built in European architectural style.
Where to Stay
Mawlynnong is some 75-80 km from Shillong. A pleasant drive of 2 hours and 30 minutes will bring you to the gates of this peaceful location. Shillong offers a myriad of hotels and resorts where visitors can rest after a day of sightseeing. Woodstock Farmhouse, an exclusive hotel by Hotel Polo Towers Group is a one-stop destination if you are looking for blissful accommodations laden with modern commodities. This unique bed & breakfast is curated to match the aesthetic vibe of Shillong. You can indulge in appetising meals at our restaurant where the menu covers Chinese and Continental cuisines. On the other hand, if you wish to indulge in a stay in Cherrapunji, drive down to Polo Orchid Resort, Cherrapunji for a restful sojourn.