Monday, July 8, 2013 By

Mawlynnong - Asia's Cleanest Village

Unexplored north-east states of India are still untapped and tourism is underdeveloped but the call for  unseen lurks veteran travelers years after years.Somehow this time I landed in the gateway of north east "Guwahati" without having much prior planning and rest is some rich travel experience which can not be measure in terms of urban luxury or convenience.

The little hamlet 'Mawlynnong' attracts visitors around the globe

In this little hamlet of fairytale where human and nature co-existis in a perfect harmony.

It was a long journey from Shillong and 3 hours passed just to relish the magnificent views of meghalaya plateau cut by the gushing waterfalls  in the backdrop of dense foliage.Upon arrival,a sign welcomes us to ‘Mawlynnong-God’s Own Garden.’ It seemed perfect introduction of a village which has been acclaimed as Asia's cleanest village by BBC,UNESCO and National Geography since 2003.Mawlynnong ,a little -known hamlet of 80-90 families in the distant corner of Meghalaya perched on east khasi hills,rainiest part of Himalaya,bordering Bangladesh.

Spotlessly clean cobbled path through the quaint village Mawlynnong

Blooming Bougenvillea at Mawlynnong

I followed the narrow stone path bordered with manicured lawns of various ornamental plants and flowers zigzagged through the quaint villages.Village houses are made of thatched roof, wooden walls ,surrounded by a neat and clean courtyard,emblazoned with blooming bougainvillea,bright khasi roses.Conical bamboo dustbins are provided all over the village to collect litter,natural stone basins in front of houses to collect rain water.Khasi women are obsessed with cleanliness.I found them either cleaning their yard with a broom or hanging their spotlessly clean laundry in the clothesline.Khasi people are very much environment conscious and they take upon the responsibility of clean environment very seriously to make the difference.They are born cultivator and protector of their forests.There is many sacred forests where even plucking a leaf from the tree is punishable offense.The village has one English medium school and 100% literacy rate.I stopped by the side of a small church after encircling the village,found villagers,little children gathered and soon the whole quaint village awakened by the sweet tunes of Christmas carol.

A peaceful coexistence of human and nature - Mawlynnong

Next we headed for the SKY Walk in the Mawlynnong.As the name is interesting same as the experience.A 85 ft high bamboo staircase with upward slope tied with surrounded  trees and a machan kind of standing ground lies on top of the bamboo structure. From Sky high view you will get an outstanding 360 degree view of surrounding villages and nearest Bangladesh plain. The inventor of this unique idea is none other than local school teacher .

The next big attraction is living root bridge in Riwai village, a 15 minutes walk from Mawlynnong,an  awe-inspiring example of bio-engineering: Living Root Bridge Of Riwai Village( Please follow this post for more details.)

Half of the year torrential downpour engulfs the village and nearest local market is 2 hours walk and transportation is inadequate .Living is very much environment centric and basic.In spite of all these hardships the local khasi people have demonstrated an outstanding example of environment sustainable community living, hence grabbed a honorary position in the global travel map. An sharp contrast to urban India,where cities are like a chaotic jungle with unclean streets and severe pollution.
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Living Root Bridge Of Riwai Village
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