Located at a distance of 90 km from the state capital of Shillong; in the state of Meghalaya is the village of Mawlynnong. This village has been dubbed as God’s own garden because of its stunning natural beauty and cleanliness. Mawlynnong was awarded the cleanest village in Asia for the sanitation in and around it, a few years ago.
The village of Mawlynnong is situated at an altitude of around 4906 feet above sea level. The best way to reach Mawlynnong is to hire a taxi either private or shared. The road leading to the village has endless greenery along the road with paddy fields and waterfalls. The road is also very bumpy; and is not the easiest of road trips for a rookie traveller.
Mawlynnong is a very beautiful village and looks extremely pretty during the monsoon, when there is lush greenery all around with numerous waterfalls paving the way to small streams and abidance of flowers that add to the beauty of this small village.
The main occupation of the villagers in Mawlynnon is farming and the betal nut plant is their chief crop. The village consists of around 80 houses. Keeping the village clean has been an age-old practice where in each and ever person from Mawlynnong takes responsibility for their village sanitation. It is a common sight to see villagers sweeping the roads, picking up dried leaves and throwing garbage in the cute hand-made bamboo dustbins. These bins can be found, placed at every nook and corner of the village.
Apart from the village, there are a handful of other interesting things which are surely worth seeing. The first is a huge boulder which is around 8-9 feet long and around three feet wide and weighs over a ton. This the villagers claim has been balancing on a single rock at the entrance of the woods near Mawlynnong for more than a thousand years.
Another major tourist attraction in the village of Mawlynnong, is the 85 feet high Sky Waetch made out of bamboo and natural ropes which offer a splendid view of the Bangladeshi plains. The sky watch has a small entry fee and is connected to a tree house, which has a couple of rooms for rent. The tree house rooms are very pretty and cosy but not very economical.
A small hike from Mawlynnong to the living root bridge in the village of Riwai is a must do for everyone who travels here. The trek is very easy and the living bridge will simply blow your mind away. The bridge helps tribals cross the flowing stream all through the year without any hassles.
The best time to visit the village of Mawlynnong is during the post-monsoon season. This is because; there is plenty of greenery and small waterfall around the village. The roads during the monsoon are not in the best of shape with frequent land slides and foggy weather. If you can overlook the weather and the road condition then the post-monsoon season is the best time to visit Mawlynnong. The dry months from October to April are the best time to visit Mawlynnong since the weather and road conditions are much better.
Accommodation in Mawlynnong is limited to a handful of home stays which are more of luxury hotels, which are not very economical for budget travellers. The village has a few eating stalls which serve rice, dal, roti and also local Kashi style home made chicken. The food served is not at all spicy and is bland with just a few herbs.
Mawlynnong is a must-visit village for travellers in search of culture and heritage in the state of Meghalaya. If you have to decide between a day trip to Shora/Cherrapunji or Mawlynnong pick the latter since it’s less commercial and more authentic.
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