Travel to Mawlynnong village, Meghalaya – Asia’s cleanest village

 In Meghalaya, Travel

One of the most demanded places by our travelers in the Meghalaya Tour Packges is the Mawlynnong Village. It’s no wonder, after all, who wouldn’t want to visit Asia’s Cleanest Village! 

The Mawlynnong village in Meghalaya is fondly called “God’s Own Garden” due to its rustic charm that comes from its traditional houses, warm villagers, and the greenery that surrounds it. Visiting this postcard-perfect town is one of the top things to do when in Meghalaya!

Let’s explore what the Mawlynnong Village offers to its visitors and how it sets an ideal example of how humans can peacefully coexist with the natural beauty that Meghalaya holds.

About Mawlynnong Village – the Asia’s Cleanest Village


The story of Mawlynnong becoming Asia’s Cleanest Village goes back to 2003 when it earned the title by Discover India. It slowly gained popularity after 2005 when it was featured on BBC. But, the locals of Meghalaya have always been key players in maintaining the scenic beauty of this state.

Inhabited by the Khasi tribe, the Mawlynnong village appears straight out of a fairy tale. The road leading to the village passes through a thick forest cover and Mawlynnong reveals itself like a hidden charm at first sight. You will have to park your vehicle outside the village and walk to explore one of the best places in Meghalaya.

As you walk on the well-paved narrow village roads you will see the traditional houses, each with its garden of colorful flowers or even fruit orchards. Each house also has its own rainwater harvesting system to recycle and store water.

Along with maintaining cleanliness, the villagers of Mawlynnong Village also set an ideal example with a 100% literacy rate. Most of the villagers can also speak Hindi and English. Residents take pride in their community’s eco-friendly practices. Water gets recycled, plastic is banned, and the whole village is a no-smoking zone. This dedication to cleanliness extends to their homes, where you’ll find spotless kitchens and bathrooms.

Here are a few things that you can do in the Mawlynnong Village in Meghalaya to gain a deeper understanding of the daily lifestyle of the villagers, explore the hidden gems in the village, and get a perfect experience in this picturesque village.

Also Read: Kongthong Whistling Village: A Musical Journey In Meghalaya

9 Things To Do In Mawlynnong Village in Meghalaya

1. Walk Around The Village


Strolling around Asia’s Cleanest village will give you an insight into how cleanliness is maintained here. There are several bamboo baskets installed in the village for the people to dispose of their waste properly.

Watch the people doing their daily chores like farming activities, and taking care of their herds and cattle. Click pictures of various plants like the yellow kahili ginger, roses, bougainvillea, and pitcher plants. The warm hospitality of the villagers will surely elevate your experience in the Mawlynnong village.

  • Approx Cost: ₹100 – ₹150 are the parking charges.

2. Interact with the locals


Interacting with the locals in the Mawlynnong village is a great way to understand the local culture. The villagers here follow matrilineal practices where the child inherits the mother’s name, the woman is the head of the family and the property rights are naturally transferred to the youngest daughter of the family.

Since school, children are taught basic hygiene and the importance of sustainability. You can also ask them about their occupation, lifestyle, etc. Watch the children play football and cricket in the small village ground.

3. Try Local Cuisine


If you are keen on trying the local Meghalayan cuisine, then there are a few restaurants and food stalls along the parking area that offer a limited menu with traditional food options. If you are staying in the homestays here, you can enjoy the local food as served by the hosts.

The food in these eateries is prepared from the organically grown vegetables from the village itself. Even the meat comes from their cattle, promising to satiate your taste buds. You can try a few dishes like Jadoh – a meat and rice dish, Tungrymbai – made from fermented soybean, bamboo shoot pickle

  • Approx Cost: ₹100 – ₹250 per person for a meal.

4. Explore The Living Root Bridge 


The Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya have gained a spot on the world map and a UNESCO World Heritage status. You can explore one such living root bridge between the Mawlynnong and Riwai village which is said to be 180 years old.

A short hike of around 200 steps will take you to the 30-meter-long Nohwet Living Root Bridge built on the Thyllong River. Walk on the bridge and get a chance to marvel at the beautifully constructed bridge made by weaving the roots of rubber trees for generations. The Khasi tribes have built these amazing living bridges, essential for travel and trade, that grow stronger with time. 

  • Approx Cost: ₹10 per person.

5. Visit The Village Church


There are several churches in Shillong the capital of Meghalaya built during the British Era. Some small churches were also built across other villages in Meghalaya including the Mawlynnong village. You can visit the rustic 100-year-old Church of Epiphany built in European architectural style.

Visiting Mawlynnong village on Sundays will allow you to participate in the rituals here and explore the interiors of the church. A beautifully paved cobblestone path will lead you to this age-old building.

6. Marvel At The Balancing Rock


If you want to see something unique, you can also visit the “balancing rock” in the Mawlynnong Village. It is a unique rock formation where a huge boulder is balanced over a really small rock, making it a must-visit site. 

This rock is located at the starting point of the hike to Nohwet Living Root Bridge and can be reached within a 10-minute walk. No one knows for how long this rock has been here. As per the locals, this was a ritual site for the Khasi tribe, before they adopted Christianity. 

  • Approx Cost: ₹10 per person.

7. Walk On The Bamboo Sky Deck

Source: Tripadvisor

Overcome your fear of heights by walking up a bamboo Sky Deck built on a tree 85 feet above the ground. Reach the top by walking on the bamboo steps and bridges built by the villagers for the tourists.

As this village is located near the Indo-Bangladesh border, you can marvel at the sweeping landscapes of Bangladesh afar. From the top, you can marvel at the surrounding views of the village. 

  • Approx Cost: ₹30 per person.

8. Soak in the beauty of Mawlynnong waterfall


There are several scenic waterfalls in Meghalaya and one such waterfall is the Mawlynnong waterfall. Cascading down from a height of 100 ft, spending leisurely near this waterfall can be a peaceful experience.

You can reach this waterfall by walking a few steps further from the Nohwet Living Root Bridge. You can also take a refreshing dip in the crystal clear waters for relaxation.

9. Shop Local Handicrafts At Souvenir Shops


Take back pieces of Meghalaya by shopping for some unique souvenirs and handicrafts from the locals of Mawlynnong village. While walking through the village, you will find several small souvenir shops set just outside the houses. You can buy products made of bamboo like bags, home decor, etc.

Stay Options In Mawlynnong Village

Source: OurGuest

Finding a place to stay in Mawlynnong won’t be like booking a hotel in a bustling city. Due to the village’s focus on eco-tourism and sustainable living, most accommodations are homestays or guesthouses. These options offer a chance to experience local culture firsthand. 

Many homestays boast beautiful gardens and provide delicious homemade meals. While luxury amenities might be limited, the warmth of Khasi hospitality and the chance to immerse yourself in the village’s serene atmosphere more than makeup for it. Consider booking your stay in advance, especially during peak season, as options are limited.

Best Time To Visit Mawlynnong Village


So, you’re planning a trip to Mawlynnong, the cleanest village in Asia? Here’s the weather scoop!  While it’s beautiful year-round, aim for drier months to avoid heavy monsoon rains (June to September). Spring (March-April) and autumn (September-October) offer pleasant temperatures, perfect for exploring. 

October-November is especially exciting, as the vibrant Nongkrem dance festival fills the air with music and celebration. Want to experience a unique harvest festival? Catch Wangala between September and December!  So, pack your bags and choose your adventure – Mawlynnong awaits!

Also Read: Guide To Visit Umngot River In Meghalaya: Asia’s Cleanest River

How To Reach Mawlynnong Village In Meghalaya?


To reach Mawlynnong Village in Meghalaya, travelers can choose from various transportation modes. Here are a few best ways to reach Asia’s Cleanest Village:

  • By Airways: The best way to reach Mawlynnong village is to fly to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam, about 190 kilometers away; as it has direct flights from major Indian cities like Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc. Another alternative is the Shillong airport which is 103 kilometers away but has limited flights. From there, visitors can hire a taxi/ cab or take a bus for a scenic road journey of around five hours to reach Mawlynnong.
  • By Railways: The nearest railhead is the Guwahati Railway station which is well-connected to major Indian cities by railway network. From here, you can continue your journey by hiring a cab/ taxi or taking a local bus which can take around 5-6 hours.
  • By Roadways: For those preferring road travel from other parts of Meghalaya or neighboring states, well-connected highways provide access to Mawlynnong, offering the opportunity to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of Northeast India along the way. The winding roads offer beautiful views, so keep your camera handy!

Regardless of the mode chosen, the journey to Mawlynnong promises unforgettable vistas and experiences in one of Asia’s cleanest villages.

Travel Tips For Visiting Mawlynnong Village


Here are a few travel tips to keep in mind while visiting Meghalaya’s Mawlynnong Village:

  • If you’re not staying in Mawlynnong, start your day trips early to return to your accommodation on time.
  • Remember not to litter, as there are fines for doing so. Also, avoid carrying plastic into the village to maintain its cleanliness.
  • If you visit on Sundays, you can attend the Sunday rituals at the local church, which can be a unique cultural experience.
  • Always respect the locals and seek their permission before taking any pictures or exploring any areas in the village.
  • If you plan to stay in the village, especially during peak season, make sure to book your accommodation in advance as options are limited.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking around the village, exploring its beauty and attractions.
  • Try to carry enough cash to pay at various places in the village or for shopping for some souvenirs. Due to the poor network in the region, online transactions may not be possible.

What is special in Mawlynnong?

Apart from being recognized as the cleanest village in Asia, it boasts breathtaking natural beauty with picturesque village landscapes and stunning waterfalls. The village is also known for its unique living root bridges, crafted from the roots of ancient trees, which are a marvel of traditional engineering. Visitors also get a glimpse into the rich Khasi culture and heritage through its warm hospitality and vibrant community life.

Which is the top cleanest village in Asia?

The Mawlynnong Village nestled in the East Khasi hills of  Meghalaya is Asia’s Cleanest Village.

Why is Mawlynnong the cleanest village in Asia?

Mawlynnong holds the distinction of being Asia’s cleanest village due to its community’s commitment to cleanliness and sustainability. Residents actively engage in daily practices such as sweeping, waste management, rainwater harvesting, and enforcing strict anti-littering measures, ensuring the village remains clean.

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