Mawlynnong | The cleanest village in Asia
Mawlynnong also referred as “God’s own garden” a village in the Meghalaya State of India is known for its cleanliness and natural attraction. The village is located around 90kms from Shillong, nested East Khasi Hills district of the Meghalaya state in the Northeastern part of India.
The village is administered under the leadership of Sarpanch (Head of Village) who is elected representative of village as per the constitution of India and Panchyati Raaj Act.
Interesting! Isn’t it?
Mawlynnong is a amazing village with the households of about 80 has so many interesting fact.
You are going to see this village! before packing-up your bags, let’s get some knowledge.
The road leading up to Mawlynnong from Shillong has some of the better panoramic and magnificent views in the country.
This fascinating Mawlynnong was remain hidden and unknown to the world until the travel magazine Discover India awarded the title of the Cleanest Village in Asia in 2003. and had also been featured in the BBC and Lonely Planet. Also entitled to the cleanest village in India in 2005.
Besides cleanliness and natural attraction, the village has high literacy rate and women empowerment. Villagers are conversant with the English language than Hindi; and smoking is prohibited and polythene bags are banned in the village.
According to the census report of 2011, literacy rate of Mawlynnong village was 93.71% compared to 74.43% of Meghalaya. In Mawlynnong Male literacy stands at 92.99% while female literacy rate was 94.35%.
Bamboo dustbins are visible all over the village by means of hanging by the fences or either with support of stands. They convert the manure from the garbage pit dug in the ground separately for organic and inorganic wastes in a forest near the village.
Just as the cleanest village in Asia, public toilets are available in Mawlynnong. Hygienically maintain by the villagers.
As a part of their lifestyle, the villagers step out to clean the roads and plant the trees. Children are taught from their early-hood to be hygienic and to keep their surroundings green and clean.
Warm hospitality to their guests is one of the most well-known qualities of the natives of Mawlynnong.
Mawlynnong village is inhabited by Khasi people (Children of Seven Huts). Their language is categorized as the Northernmost Austroasiatic language. William Carrey who claimed to be the first to wrote the language with the Bengali script to write Khasi before the arrival of Christian Missionaries. It was Welsh evangelist, Thomas Jones, who transcribed the Khasi language into the Latin script. Their chief occupation in agriculture, betel leaf, areca nut, oranges, vegetables, etc. are the main crops produced by the Khasi people.
The unique feature of Khasi people is, they follow the matrilineal system of descent and inheritance. However, men are not completely inert and have no word in private matters or whatsoever. In the matter of inheritance, men also get the shares of ancestral property, but daughters usually get more significant shares. In the Khasi system of asset management, the Khasi uncles (Kñi) of the household (generally under the authority of the eldest Kñi), manage their sister’s property. No arrangement can be made without their consent. In their wife’s household too, they provide for their children as a normal father would.
LIVING ROOT BRIDGES:
These bridges are unique to Meghalaya; bridges are handmade from the aerial roots of Rubber Fig Trees(Ficus Elastical), the roots make a pathway across the stream, making the villagers easy to commute.
The bridge is formed by guiding the pliable roots of the Ficus Elastica across a stream or river. The Ficus Elastica is well suited to anchoring itself to steep slopes and rocky surfaces; it is not difficult to encourage its roots to take hold on the other side of river banks. The life-span of the bridge relies on the health of the tree, as long as the tree remains healthy the bridge will naturally survive and will self-strengthen as its component roots grow thicker and stronger.
The Khasi people use different methods to create the bridge. Some bridges are created by manipulating the roots by hands, tied or twisted together, and are often encouraged to combine with one another via the process of Inosculation. It is also made by creating scaffolds out of bamboo and wood; the roots are wrapped around the outside of these materials. While some bridges are created by guiding roots through the hollowed-out trunks of Areca Nut palms, which have been placed across rivers or streams until the roots stick themselves to the other side.
If you are anxious about watch-tower or view-tower whatever its name may be, to enjoy and feel the essence of freedom! You will be glad to know about the Sky View, which is another popular attraction of Mawlynnong village. Basically, Sky View tower is 80 – 85 feet high, and it is made of bamboo. Since the Mawlynnong is situated in India and Bangladesh border, you will have a good view of Bangladesh plains.
There is another fascinating attraction called Balancing Rock, lies on the outskirt of the village Mawlynnong. It has two stones, huge boulder resting on a smaller stone. You will be amazed! “how come a huge stone resting on the small one?” Well do not be, that’s why its so called Balancing Rock.
According to the legend, it can not be destroyed as it remains the same for ages. You have already know that the Sky-View is made of Bamboo, may be they harvest from here for the bamboo surround this prodigious Balancing Rock. They can have natural resources to meet their needs but not allowed to have more than they required.
According to the local elders, human sacrifices were made in this spot 1000 years back to calm the presiding deity of the area. Holding up your breath? Need not to be! the Mawlynnong villagers are no longer made human sacrifice. You will be overjoyed and glad, you will be astonished at the villagers because they possess the quality of pleasant hospitality.
Through the Year. However, the best time is Monsoon.
By Road: Buses and taxi are available in the nearby areas
By Air: Nearest Airport is located in Shillong. Hire a taxi to reach Mawlynnong.
By Rail: Guwahati is the nearest Railway Station. Either board on the bus or hire a taxi.
Guest House/Homestay: Guest House and Homestay are available per night average cost 2000 INR.