We have always associated our country, India not as an ideal example of sanitation and cleanliness, rather the opposite. Imagine a tiny village in India that defies this image. It is not only the Cleanest village in India but the Cleanest village in all of Asia. Mawlynnong village, in North Eastern India, all of just over more than 600 people practice cleanliness as a way of life and a daily ritual. Kids and adults alike grow up following this way of life and hence it shows in the surroundings of the village.
Mawlynnong is the Asia’s Cleanest village and is full of greenery.
Cleanest village in Asia:
After being declared as the Cleanest village in Asia in 2003, it has caught national as well as global attention. In a country where waste and plastic is an increasing issue and something which adorns all sides and corners of the road. Mawlynnong has been hailed as a model for the rest of the country by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself. Given the recent fame, the people have become legends of sorts here.
How it all started:
The inception of this tradition of sanitation is not very well known or documented. Though it is believed that some 130 years ago after a massive cholera outbreak, the importance of cleanliness was encouraged in the village to control its spread. Since in India tradition plays a huge role in the upbringing of an individual and in this case the tradition itself spoke of sanitation, the same has become ingrained in the lives of the people here. It clearly sets a strong example of ‘Starting Young’.
What to see in Mawlynnong:
Mawlynnong is now a popular tourist destination for anyone visiting Meghalaya. Visiting the village itself is a captivating experience and to see the people of the village, interact with them in their natural habitat is quite a thing. The village is abundant with crystal waterfalls and streams and colorful orchids. The village is impeccably neat and tidy with waste bins everywhere. You can also take a pleasant walk up the Sky Walk at Rs10, it is 85 feet high and the perfect way to end your day looking over at the Bangladesh Border and beyond. You can also visit the natural and human wonder, The living-root bridge in the nearby village, Riwai, again a place worth visiting. There are also many trekking options around the village given its hilly terrain.
Living roots bridge near Mawlynnong.
Where to Stay at Mawlynnong:
Mawlynnong being a small village has limited accommodation to offer, there are cute cozy tree houses in the village where one can stay. But due to its popularity, they need to be booked way in advance and also the village headman needs to be informed.
How to Reach Mawlynnong Village:
Regular flights are available to Guwahati from all major cities. From Guwahati, Mawlynnong is at 190km distance. You can either directly go to the village or stop over at Shillong, again an important city in Meghalaya. Taxis and cabs are available from Guwahati easily.
Featured Image Credit: Ashwin Kumar