When life goes monotonous and greyscale, a natural escape in a place like Mawlynnong throw back some hope of colour in our strenuous subsistence. Nestled in the East Khasi hills of Meghalaya, Mawlynnong Village is a tranquil holiday destination for visitors. Reckoned as ‘Asia’s Cleanest Village’ and ‘God’s Own Garden, Mawlynnong is an absolute paradise offering you a blend of clean courtyard, lush bush, lively waterfalls, Living Roots Bridge, Balancing Rock and rim of our neighbouring country Bangladesh.
Located around 90Kms from Shillong airport, the small hamlet of Mawlynnong boasts nearly 70 households with 100% literacy rate amongst its inhabitants. On reaching the terrain of the cleanest village, you won’t feel that you are a stranger to the far-flung villagers. Most of the villagers here speak fluent English and they hold a great spirit of generosity.
Least footfalls of visitors and no twittering of birds make the overall ambience of Mawlynnong quite relaxing for a traveller. On exploring the cleanest village of Mawlynnong, you can say that this place probably exhibits the best example of a community-based effort in promoting eco-tourism. A soothing blend of breeze and exciting trek over the bridge of twisted roots make you flock this picturesque site time and again.
Best time to visit Mawlynnong:
Being perched on the Khasi hills, the mountainous surroundings of Mawlynnong keep the ambiance here quite comfy for visitors all round the calendar. Even in summer (March -June), you can take pleasure from a minimum temperature of 15oC. Winter is even cooler here at Mawlynnong village. However, the best time to explore the actual splendour of Mawlynnong is from June to September. This is the time when monsoon hits the region emerging the best out of it. Visitors come from all round the sphere to witness the abundance of flowering orchids, fresh greeneries and waterfalls that go livelier in monsoon.
The environs of Indian state of Meghalaya are well-blessed with natural abundance, and it takes no time to admit the fact once you enter the state. Mawlynnong is one such tempting spot in the Meghalaya state with diverse range of natural magnificence to offer. When in Mawlynnong, make sure you don’t skip exploring the following attractions:
Situated nearly 9Kms from Mawlynnong, Riwai Village is one of the leading tourist pullers on that region. Popular for its living root bridges, Riwai Village houses some twisted roots of ancient banyan trees forming the natural bridges to cross over the small streams. Picturesque vista while the stepping into the hanging bridge is something that will be treasured in your reminiscence everlastingly. Besides its living root bridges, Riwai Village also offers you a neat alleyway surrounded by Robab Tenga trees. While walking across the road, you will come to spot some bamboo made dustbins, which indicates the unsoiled awareness amongst the local community. In addition, you may also notice some local vendors on the go selling fresh vegetables, local fruits, eggs, snacks, tea and water to the visitors. After observing the generosity and simplicity of the villagers, you can’t resist yourself from falling in love affair with the place.
#Tree House and Sky View
Bamboo is one of the key means of economy in various parts of the North East. Catching a Sky View of neighbouring Bangladesh from the bamboo made towers is an affirmation to the utility of bamboo in and around Mawlynnong. You will get to spot various tree houses around the site offering you some breathtaking panoramas. Most of these tree houses are 80-90 feet high and created with stout bamboo and natural ropes. According to local villagers, the trend of structuring such tree houses was initiated times back by local entrepreneurs. Over the times, this trend has been followed by local residence resulting them into construction of several such towers in Mawlynnong. This is also an important source of income for the villagers. The Sky View from such elevated tree houses can be availed at very affordable prices. If you are accompanied by your family, don’t miss the magnificent opportunity at Mawlynnong. This is an absolute blend of delight and thrill.
# Beauty of Butterfly
Apart from its natural abundance, North East is one of the leading places in India for spotting a rich variety of butterflies. If you are a lepidopterist and looking for various species of butterflies, Mawlynnong and Riwai villages may be the places for you. The village of Mawlynnong houses plenty of hibiscuses that entice various colourful and electrifying butterflies. Starting from azure to different shades of colours, you can observe here a variety of butterflies with different sizes. Chasing them in the midst of fresh greeneries add full of bliss to your presence here. Kids also enjoy here chasing the multicolour butterflies.
India’s North Eastern State of Meghalaya is eminent for boasting some amazing gush of waterfalls. Exploring an animated waterfall amidst mound is always exciting for visitors. There are several vivacious waterfalls that you may spot in Mawlynnong. Falling from an elevated range of Khasi hills with colossal roar, Mawlynnong waterfall leaves your presence absolutely spellbound. The majestic volume of waterfalls can best be revealed here during monsoon. Visitors also come here for picnicking as well. A blend of frosty water flow and refreshing ambience around the waterfalls is delightful for one’s body and soul.
Things to do:
God’s Own Garden, Mawlynnong Village is predominant for sightseeing. As a traveller the best thing to do around the village is trekking and photography. If you are an adventure buff, you may head towards Shillong and Cherrapunji for some rousing rock climbing, challenging trekking, angling and cave exploration.
Well, for a shopaholic Mawlynnong Village may not be the right place to visit. Apart from some bamboo made objects and souvenirs, the place has nothing much to offer to a buyer. If you want to eat something in the region of Mawlynnong, you will come across some small food stalls offering you tasty Chappati and Rice. If you are non-vegetarian, small food stalls of Mawlynnong serve you their local Chicken dishes, which is a great way to fill up your gastronomic need. You may also try a cup of refreshing tea in some of the stalls here.
Considering the gradual popularity of the place, various NGO’s are planning to join hands in making Mawlynnong a full-fledged tourist destination so that even entering the village area incurs an entry fees.
Making your voyage to Asia’s Cleanest Village is not that fuss. Some of the nearby cities like Guwahati and Silchar are well connected to the Indian state of Meghalaya. If you are planning your next natural escape to Mawlynnong Village, here’s how to get there:
By Air: The nearest airport is Shillong airport, which is located nearly 90 Kms from Mawlynnong. After reaching Shillong airport, you can hire a taxi till Bara Bazaar market at Khasi Hills. Further, from Khasi Hills, you will find many Sumo and taxis that will take you till Mawlynnong. Air travellers may also fly till Guwahati Airport, which is well-connected to various major cities in India. From Guwahati plenty of regular government and private transports can be availed till Shillong; and from Shillong you can reach Mawlynnong by road.
By Train: Being perched at the mountainous route, there is no railhead in Shillong. Therefore, if you are planning to visit Shillong by train, book your ticket till Guwahati Railway station, which is about 100Kms away from Shillong. Guwahati Railway station is well-connected to various major cities in India. From Guwahati Railway station plenty of buses (both private and public), cabs, Sumo and taxis run on regular intervals for Shillong. From Shillong reaching Mawlynnong via Khasi Hills is quite convenient.
By Road: Reaching there at Mawlynnong is something like unearthing a covert treasure. Located nearly 90kms from Shillong and 93 kms from Cherrapunjee, the best way to reach there is by road. Having mentioned the best mode of transpiration from Bara Bazaar market, getting Mawlynnong by road offers you some awe-inspiring scenic grandeur on the go. From Shillong you may also hire a cab that will take you through the Dawki road or via AH1-AH2-NH40 route to reach your destination. From Shillong, it may take approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes to reach Mawlynnong by road. Apart from few scratches, the road condition is decent. If you hire a taxi/cab, don’t forget to bargain the fare before starting the ride.
Places to Stay:
Finding accommodations in the God’s Own Garden is mainly the homestays. There are various homestays at Mawlynnong, which are run by the local people. With decent accommodation and food quality, these homestays can be availed for INR 1500 or more for two persons. In addition, some quality hotels are also there in its nearby locations. If you plan to return from Mawlynnong on the same day, the best staying option could be availed in Shillong.
Here are few comfortable places to stay in and around Mawlynnong:
Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India
Charges: INR 777/night (approximately)
#Mawlynnong Bamboo Cottage I
Mawlynnong, Meghalaya, India
Charges: INR 1800/night (approximately)
Charges: INR 2000/night (approximately)
Aloof from city’s hustle-bustle and toxic waste, visiting Mawlynnong leaves you an overwhelming experience of all time. A tranquil time off in the midst of Khasi People’s cordiality and a clean scenic village is just the perfect natural escape for a visitor to the entrancing destination of Meghalaya.