Mawlynnong is a tourist destination 90 km from Shillong along the India-Bangladesh border. It's a small village in the Khasi Hill district. Mawlynnong, located at an altitude of 475 meters, is also known as the ‘cleanest village. A popular travel magazine declared the village the cleanest village in Asia in 2003 and the cleanest in India in 2005. This has partly contributed to the popularity of Mawlynnong.
How to reach
Mawlynnong is 90 km (around 2.5 Hours) from Shillong and 92 km (2.5 Hours) from Cherrapunji. Shillong is the nearest airport and the Guwahati is the nearest railhead to reach here. Most tourists visit Shillong first and come here as an onward journey. From Shillong, tourists can take a local taxi or hire a shared car to reach Mawlynnong. Tourists can also visit Shillong and Cherranpunji as a day excursion from Mawlynnong village or vice versa.
Mawlynnong is referred to as 'God's own garden'. The beautifully planned village has systematically inhabited houses and shops maintained by the locals so well that the entire village looks like a garden. Tourists can walk all around the village and mingle with the locals. The spotlessly clean village is home to not only the locals but also a wide variety of unique plants, flowers, and trees in all the houses and in public spaces. Tourist accommodation is mostly available on homestays. Tourists can stay in the village and enjoy the local culture, food and lifestyle of the Khasi people. The Khasi cuisine is mostly non-vegetarian and the traditionally cooked ‘Chicken Thali’ (plate) is a must-have for a visitor. Treehouses, pitcher plants, the skywatch of Bangladesh, handicrafts shopping, and awesome chicken curry at the Square hotel all entertain travellers here.
Jingmaham Living Root Bridge
The living bridge is an excellent example of nature and humans working in harmony. It is a suspension bridge made with the roots of living plants. There are several such bridges across Meghalaya. Here the bridge crosses over a small stream and the water streaming below is peaceful and tourists can spend some quality time enjoying the place. Unlike many other living root bridges, which take a long trek on foot to reach, this living root bridge is just about a 5 to 10-minute walk from the motorable road, making this bridge easily accessible. However, keep in mind that the road is steep and the path uneven and for older or unfit people the walk may not be very comfortable.
Mawlynnong Sky View Point (Bangladesh View)
At a distance of 2 km from the Mawlynnong bus stand, Sky Walk is a viewpoint located at Mawlynnong. It is also known as Northwest Viewpoint. The viewpoint is close to the Jingmaham Living Root Bridge. The place is popular for the Panoramic view of the Bangladesh plains. The Skywalk is an 85 feet eco-friendly ladder-like structure that has been made entirely from bamboo poles tied to branches of trees using jute and bamboo ropes. No metal has been used to form this structure.
This waterfall is located on the way between Dawki from Mawlynnong.
Umngot River Dowki on the India - Bangladesh border
Dawki is a small town in the West Jaintia hill district. Dawki is about 30 km from Mawlynnong and is a little over an hour's drive away. The Umngkot River at Dawki is famous for its crystal clear water which makes boats on it look like they are floating mid-air. Dawki is also a popular import and export point between India and Bangladesh.
Balancing Rock Mawlynnong:
About 1 km from Mawlynnong, the balancing rock of Mawlynnong is a natural wonder. Locally known as Maw Ryngkew Sharatia, the spot has two stones, one is a huge boulder resting precariously on top of a much small stone. The place used to be revered by the local Khasi tribes, but since presently most locals have turned towards Christianity, the religious significance of the place has dwindled.
People & Culture
Mawlynnong is a small village with less than a hundred families living here. The village has a population of about 500 people with a literacy rate well above 90%. The entire population here constitute of Khasi indigenous people.
The local weather in Mawlynnong is pleasant all through the year. The summer months between March to June have a temperature between 15 to 24 degrees Celsius. June to September is the monsoon time when you can witness heavy rainfall and thunderstorm. This is the time when the flowers bloom and the forests are at their greenest, the entire area comes to life with rivers full and waterfalls at their best. The winter month between December and February is quite cold and the minimum temperature may go down close to the freezing point.