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Mawlynnong: The Cleanest Village in Asia

  • Post author:Suvankar Das
  • Post last modified:May 27, 2021
  • Reading time:15 mins read

Mawlynnong, the cleanest village in Asia is popular to visitors in another name, “God’s Own Garden”. I assume you haven’t ever seen such a beautiful and well-organized village elsewhere.

Thought of the destinations in northeastern India always correlates an amazing curiosity into the mind. The serine nature and indifferent culture of the northeast are pretty absent in the other parts of the country. In addition, many places in the northeast are still unexplored and mysterious to the common tourist, and Mawlynnong is definitely one of those.

Although in the last few years, more tourists are visiting Mawlynnong to explore the “Cleanest Village in Asia”, the place still offers a peaceful escape avoiding the unwanted crowd, which you may not experience in other commercial destinations in Meghalaya, such as Shillong and Cherrapunji.

Related article: 10 Best hotels in Shillong

I can’t wait any longer to share my own experience in the “God’s Own Garden”, Mawlynnong. So, let’s start over.

Where Mawlynnong Village Situated Exactly?

Before taking you on a virtual morning walk throughout the village, I just want to introduce Mawlynnong in brief.

Mawlynnong is a hilly village situated in the East Khasi Hills district of the Meghalaya state in North East India and lies on the India-Bangladesh border. The village is approx. 78 km away from Shillong and 81 km from Cherrapunji.

In 2003, Discovery India magazine announced Mawlynnong as the cleanest village in Asia.

Mawlynong - The Cleanest Village in Asia - a glimpse
Mawlynong: The Cleanest Village in Asia; a glimpse

After earning the badge, although tourism has been boosted in the village to some extent, the place is still a much peaceful one for the tourist. The serenity could be maintained because most tourists skip this place due to lack of information; others visit there directly from Shillong or Cherrapunji for a day trip and leave Mawlynnong after lunch.

Related article: 19 Best Places to Visit in Shillong

Due to the above facts, the morning and afternoon sessions remain much peaceful in Mawlynnong. Instead of planning only a day trip, it is worth visiting there at least for a complete day including a 1-night stay, so that you can enjoy the enchanting morning and evening in Mawlynnong.

Related article: Top 9 Cherrapunji Tourist Places You Shouldn’t Skip

Things to do in Mawlynnong

The village offers several beautiful sights to the visitors, some are inside the boundary of the village, some are just outside; however, the major attraction is the village itself.

Enjoy the beauty of World’s cleanest Village

It’s more likely to have a walk through the village in the morning session for two major reasons,

  • On a sunny morning, the beauty of the village blossoms most intensely with thousands of colorful flowers here and there.
  • You can enjoy the place peacefully by avoiding the crowd in the morning session because the day-tourists from other parts of Meghalaya can’t reach there before 10 AM.

As the number of tourists increased in the last few years, several resorts and homestay grow up in Mawlynnong, many of those are situated outside of the main village, but there are several homestays inside the village also including the tree-houses!

If you are traveling there by car, you have to park it in the car parking zone which is situated just by the entrance of the village.

Mawlynong Village houses.
Naturally decorated neat and clean village houses in Mawlynnong

Walking through the cleanest village of Asia offers a feel like the dreamland of fairytales. Every domestic cottage is well decorated with unknown colorful flowers, every place is so neat and clean, even you’ll not find a single dry leaf on the road; and of course, nature is so serine in Mawlynnong.

It takes around 40 minutes to walk through the full village. However, it’s not only about the colorful flowers and cleanness everywhere, but Mawlynnong village also offers you a small piece of adventure. Let’s explore it!

Related article: Garden of Caves — Explore the Gem of Meghalaya

Brun Khongmen viewpoint

While you are walking through the village you’ll find several alleys that have been divided from the main road, and the destiny of one of those mud-paths is a bit different; that enters a little forest straightway.

To reach Brun Khongmen viewpoint you have to follow the narrow path and pass through the forest, cross a narrow stream over the years old concrete bridge while listening to the melodious song of hundreds of unknown birds. It’s more enchanting than you expect.

Mawlynong village is situated just beside the India-Bangladesh border; Brun Khongmen viewpoint is a skywalk to experience the panoramic view of the lush green plain land of Bangladesh.

To reach the top of the tower you need to cover approx. 200 bamboo-made stair steps. The tower is not stable like a high-rise concrete building, but definitely, you’ll get a nice view from the top (if it’s not raining there)!

Brun Khongmen viewpoint at mawlynnong
The bamboo stair at Brun Khongmen viewpoint (Mawlynnong)

Caution: As I mentioned the bamboo-made tower is not very stable, so don’t be hurry while you are climbing; just be steady and climb slowly, try to keep a little distance between two person.

Balancing Rock

Balancing rock is a roadside wonder on the way to Nohwet Root Bridge from Mawlynnong village. It’s a huge rock almost hanging in the air with the support of a much smaller stone in the middle.

Balancing Rock at Mawlynnong
The Balancing Rock at Mawlynnong

The area is surrounded by fencing to avoid any kind of accident (to restrict someone to move under the huge rock). However, the amazing thing is, the accident never happened here; the rock has been steadily balanced in this way for many years!

Nohwet Root Bridge

Nohwet Root Bridge is a popular as well as commercial place, and thus you’ll find a greater crowd there.

Meghalaya is occupied by 100s of living root bridges, but many of those are located in pretty interior locations, thus all are not reachable for the tourist. Nohwet Root Bridge is one of those where you may reach out pretty easily.

Among the reachable ones, Double-decker root bridge near Cherrapunji is the most beautiful one, but it needs a long trek route to rich that place, which everyone can’t afford.

On the other hand, Nohwet Root Bridge is easily accessible. From the car parking point, you have to hike only 300 steps to reach this route bridge. People, who didn’t visit the double-decker root bridge, Nohwet Living Root Bridge is definitely a surprise to them.

Nohwet living root bridge at Mawlynnong
Nohwet living root bridge near Mawlynnong (It’s a rainy day!)

Years back, when modern construction facilities were not available, local Khasi people started building the living root bridges utilizing the hanging roots of rubber trees. These were made mainly to get connected to both sides of the river seamlessly. With time the roots grew up and the bridge became stronger, but still, the local volunteers are cautious enough to avoid any accident; they don’t allow more than 7 people to walk over the root bridge.

Related Article: Double Decker Root Bridge – An Awesome Trekking Experience into the Forest of Cherrapunji

The view from the top of the bridge is very beautiful. The stream flows at the bottom with a high current, and a small waterfall has been formed at the front. You may get closer to the waterfall and have some snaps, but be very careful because the stones are very slippery, especially on a rainy day.

Falls at Nohwet living root bridge at Mawlynnong
Falls near living root bridge (It’s a rainy day)

Niriang Falls

It’s a secret waterfall near Riwai, 5 km away from the living root bridge. Absolutely crystal clear water of Wah Rymben River lands from an altitude of 400m; the place is surrounded by thick green forest while only the roar of the water and scream of the cricket will reach your ears. However, this amazing place is not very easy to reach out, rather you need to take a steep trek over the sleeper stones to get to the place, but definitely end over with wonderstruck.

Other things to do in Mawlynnong

Dawki is very close to Mawlynnong; it is about only 18 km. I strongly suggest you visiting Dawki before or after your Mawlynnong trip. A list of amazing activities, such as experiencing boat-ride on the crystal clear Dawki River, river rafting, riverside camping, hill climbing, etc., offer you an exciting day full of adventure in Dawki.

Explore more here: Dawki – a perfect gateway to explore the river paradise

How to reach Mawlynnong

Mawlynnong is around 78 km away from Shillong and around 81 km away from Cherrapunji.

Shillong is the common starting point for the Meghalaya trip. You may reach Shillong airport directly by air, but flights in Shillong airport are not so regular; alternatively may reach Shillong city via Guwahati airport followed by 3 hours of road trip.

Related article: 10 Best hotels in Shillong

Most people plan only a day trip for visiting Mawlinnong directly from Shillong; they start early in the morning from Shillong, cover the village and get back before afternoon. Some people follow a similar plan starting from Cherrapunji.

You may start from anywhere based on your tour plan, but I suggest staying at Mawlynnong village for at least one night so that you may enjoy the serenity of Mawlynnong village in the morning and afternoon when the crowd of the day-tourists disappears.

When to visit Mawlynnong

You may visit Mawlynnong anytime throughout the year, except in monsoon seasons. However, the best times are from March to May and October to November.

Winter is cool and pleasing, but during full winter you may not experience the beauty of the waterfalls; many of those get dried in winter.

Most of the regions in Meghalaya remain wet throughout the year (except winter), and Mawlynnong is not an exception. So, you must carry your umbrella always during your Mawlynnong trip.

Wrapping up

So, that’s all about Mawlynnong village in Meghalaya.

How do you feel about this place?

If you are planning for a Meghalaya trip soon, and if you have any queries about the Mawlynnong or other places in Meghalaya, feel free to ask me; just post your question in the comment box below. I’ll get back to you immediately with your answers and explanations.

Have a nice trip!

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Dr. Suvankar Das is a scientific advisor by profession, associated with a CRO organization. He pursued his doctoral degree in Chemistry in 2015. Later, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher & scientist in a couple of institutes/companies.

Besides his scientific journey, Dr. Das is also a passionate traveler and travel blogger. He loves to share all his travel experiences with other travelers so that everyone can enjoy hassle-free holidays with their own tour plans.

He believes, the most beautiful thing in this world is the WORLD itself. so there is no way to live like a clock; rather live it like a compass!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Markus

    Omg Mawlynnong Village looks so amazing! What do you think, is this suitable place for kids? I’m talking about 10-15 years old. Is there something for them? How about Covid19 regulations in India currently? Do they accept tourists at the moment? I want to travel there as soon as possible… 🙂

    1. Suvankar Das

      I personally traveled there with my 3 years old baby. So, there is nothing unsuitable for the kids, no matter what’s the age of your kid. Pure nature, serene ambiance, and breathtaking views are the only things to enjoy around Mawlynnong Village (Nothing special for specifically kids, but these are special for people of every age). Don’t you think kids love the open atmosphere, lush green ambiance, waterfalls, or hiking experiences?

      As per your query: COVID scenario in India was relatively stable until the appearance of the new variant, Omicron. People started touring by maintaining COVID protocols. But due to the Omicron variant recently some restrictions are announced again. Hopefully, things will be settled again very soon. You should buy your flight ticket after having full information about COVID-restrictions and relaxations in India; I can help you to provide the latest updates in this regard (if you stay connected).

  2. Satz

    That’s really a nice place to visit, I had no idea about this. I have not really explored many places in Northern India. If I do happen to visit Meghalaya, I will definitely plan to stay a day at Mawlynnong to experience and witness the serenity this place offers. Its amazing to see that huge rock balancing on small rock – Truly amazing place !!

    1. Suvankar Das

      Definitely, you should stay there if you plan a Meghalaya trip. Many Meghalaya tourists visit Mawlynong only for a short day trip and get back to Shillong/Cherrapunji on the same day; but, staying overnight and feeling the morning charm of Mawlynnong is worthy.

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