Mawlynnong, located in Meghalaya, is called “God’s own Garden” and has enough reasons for that. It was awarded the title “cleanest village in Asia” by Discover India in 2003. Cleanliness must be its most important aspect, but it has achieved so much more than that. From a full hundred percent literacy rate to a highly progressive scenario for women, it has struck all the correct chords.
But if these are not reasons enough to pay a visit to this mystical paradise, here are the top things to do in Mawlynnong village and why it deserves more tourists in 2019.
Mawlynnong has a pleasant weather all throughout the year. Nevertheless, It’s best time to visit is in the monsoons. It is the rains that bring out the true character of this village and the bright green grass of its surroundings, thus painting a breathtaking picture.
The festival times, that are the Behdienkalam in July, Wangala from September to December and the vibrant Nongkrem Dance Festival in October or November, are also very good times to visit Mawlynnong Village.
By road, there are busses connecting nearby areas like Shillong and Cherrapunji. By air, the nearest airport is located in Shillong, which is 78 km from the Mawlynnong village. By rail, Guwahati is the nearest railway station to Mawlynnong, 172 km away from the main village. If you are travelling via rail or air, there are buses and taxis that will transport you to the village from the station or airport.
Cleanliness in not just a value, but rather a lifestyle in the Mawlynnong village. Since 2007, each and every house of this village has functional toilets and the whole locality is provided with bamboo dustbins. Every waste product and garbage item, even dry leaves go into the dustbin. Plastic bags and smoking are strictly prohibited here. Those who fail to follow these rules are charged very heavily. Mawlynnong also converts its own manure from the garbage gathered. People also clean roads and plant trees along with keeping their own rooms clean.
The Khasi tribe is the biggest attraction of this small village. This is a famous tribe and is well ahead of the patriarchal notions. In this tribe, children inherit their mother’s surnames and property is also passed through the matrilineal lines. Mawlynnong with all these features, proves that women empowerment is completely possible if people are convinced enough.
This natural wonder has been declared as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The living route bridges are a phenomenon in itself. The bridges connect the aerial roots of one giant rubber tree and make a bridge hanging above the river. These bridges take years to self construct and can accommodate fifty to seventy people at a time.
One of the most popular attractions of Mawlynnong village is The Sky View which is the vantage point. This site has a viewing tower which is eighty five feet high and completely out of bamboo. The landscape of Bangladesh is visible from atop the tower, as this village is situated on the Indo Bangladesh border. The entry fee to this place is a meager ten rupees per person which in turn presents you with an invaluable experience.
The quiet of the brooding Mawlynnong jungle is interrupted by the sound of the Mawlynnong waterfall.This is the perfect place to relax after a long day of sightseeing and to have a picnic with your close ones. The chirps of epiphany, a major attraction of this village, is an hundred year old structure which stands testimony to time and has still managed to hold its old world charm. Blossoms of red and orange with lots of greenery surround the premises, giving it a regal look.
Food is a very important part of the culture and tradition of any place and Mawlynnong is no exception. The most impressive feature of the local cuisine is that all of it is prepared solely from organically grown vegetables. Even in the non-vegetarian preparations, the meat that is used comes from house-bred birds and animals. There is a whole spectrum of non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes to taste here. You can choose from smoke and freshly cut banana flowers or pork tossed in bell peppers and greens or Jadoh (a delight prepared with meat and rice) or even Tungrymbai – a delicious concoction of fermented soyabean, local spices and bamboo leaves.
It is hoped that the visual wonders of the place have made you easily anticipate and thus comprehend the experience lying in store at Mawlynnong. The place should be considered as a relief from the cacophony of the daily busy schedule where you can very well enjoy in a recluive and digest the whole wonder of it all.
Please also note that anyone staying in Mawlynnong will also get to cherish the taste of good food and wonderful people in association for a brief period which will definitely create a space where experiences get a more celestial feel to them. Mawlynnong is a whole new world in itself, with its own rules, own traditions and own ways of life, which make it stand out from the rest. It definitely deserves a visit on your part.
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