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Mawlynnong or Mawlynnong Village where cleanliness and environment friendliness is an age old tradition, is located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya state in North East India. The village has won the acclaim of being the cleanest village in Asia, more than once. Barely 4km from the Bangladeshi border, the village offers breathtaking view of Bangladesh plains. Mawlynnong is located 90 km from Shillong, Meghalaya's Capital.
The village is one of the interesting eco-tourism destinations in the Meghalaya region. It has made collective effort to maintain the ambience of a clean village. The Mawlynnong people have mastered the art of waste disposal over generations. Due its reputation for cleanliness, the village has earned a place on the state's tourism map. Hundreds of visitors from all over India visit the village throughout the year.
The village surprise its visitors as, unlike other cities, the streets are free of littering and spit stains, one can see streets are all dotted with dustbins made of bamboo. Local cleaning the roads, picking up leaves and throwing garbage in the bin is a very common sight. Around 90 environmentally conscious families living here make sure their way of living and livelihood is eco-friendly and sustainable.
Mawlynnong is also one of the wettest parts of the country so rainwater harvesting is a common practice in Mawlynnong Village. The rain water is harvested in natural stone basins with large cavities which is placed outside every house.
Moreover, the village has hundred percent literacy and most of the villagers are fluent with the English language.
Stepping into Mawlynnong is a beautiful experience. It is a picture-perfect village, quite pretty, especially in the monsoons when there is lush greenery all around, with waterfalls paving the way to small streams and abundance of colourful orchids flowering amidst the green leaves of trees add to the beauty of the village. Cobbled streets bordered with manicured lawns lead up to quaint thatched houses.
Mawlynnong also has an option for 'sky-walk'. Situated on the eastern side of the village, it is a tall structure built on the support of a tree with bamboos. It gives a wonderful view of the plains of Bangladesh and the canopy of Meghalaya's forests. The entry is free. The brainchild of local school teacher Rishot Khongthohrem, the Sky View has been constructed entirely by the residents of the village.
Around 15 minutes away from Mawlynnong in the Riwai area on the passing river is situated the amazing living roots bridge. About 500 years old, it was constructed by tying the roots of two Indian rubber tree and is used by the village’s residents for their daily commute. Besides this, there are steps, again formed by roots and again. Climbing this bridge and the mini-ladder is like being on Aladdin’s magic carpet, albeit static.
Mawlynnong also offers a sight of natural balancing rock,
a strange natural phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rock.