Meghalaya Mawlilong Village IMG 4239

Mawlynnong

The Cleanest Village in Asia
The unique village of Mawlynnong has a fitting local description – God's Own Garden. Just three hours' drive from Shillong, this beautiful hamlet has gained a reputation as the cleanest village in Asia, home to a vibrant and extremely environmentally conscious community. Not a single speck of trash will be seen anywhere, as each morning and evening finds the residents working hard at cleaning up any debris and depositing it in bamboo receptacles.
Composting, rainwater harvesting and recycling are a way of life here and incredibly, plastic is completely banned inside Mawlynnong. However, there are plenty of other reasons to visit – cobbled pathways lined with wildflowers wind through the gardens and orchards, taking you to the beautiful Anglican Church of Epiphany, one of the first churches in the North East, combining European and traditional Khasi architecture. At one end of the village, a towering bamboo platform gives visitors a bird's eye view of the region, all the way to the Bangladesh plains. Nature abounds in the valleys around and one of the famous Living Root Bridges is nearby.

Activities in Mawlynnong

Nature Hiking
  • Nature Hiking - The concept of eco-consciousness has spread through the land here, as the region surrounding Mawlynnong is remarkable for its natural diversity and splendour. Every hike or even casual stroll around small villages will be full of bird sightings, incredible butterfly displays and the sight and sounds of waterfalls big and small. Take a quick hike to the spectacular Niriang Falls created by the Wah Rymben River, which plummets 300 metres into a dark and deep pool. MORE

Discovering unknown root bridges
  • Discovering unknown root bridges - Other than the famous Riwai and Nongriat bridges, Meghalaya is strewn with hundreds of lesser-known bridges and even some unknown to outsiders. The southern Khasi hills around Dawki and Pynursla have a far higher number of these natural masterpieces. Constructed deep inside forest valleys by the local villagers, hardly any outsiders would have even laid eyes on them.MORE

Village tour
  • Village tour - The residents of Mawlynnong are extremely welcoming, and a short guided tour of the village is something to expect, as the villagers are understandably very proud of the sparkling surroundings. Almost every home will have a rock with a hole in it for catching rainwater, and this is where Mawlynnong gets its name – "maw lynnong, stone with cavity". MORE

Meeting locals
  • Meeting locals - The Khasi way of life is defined by a connection to nature and a strong sense of community. They are also some of the friendliest, charming and generous people you can ever meet. The southern Khasi hills are a haven for tourists, and the locals have embraced tourism well, they even seem to have a knack for it being very generous hosts. MORE


Attractions in Mawlynnong

  • Dawki River

    On the divide between the Khasi and Jaintia hills, Dawki is an hour's drive from Mawlynnong and a real-life fairy-tale world. The Umngot River leaves India and enters Bangladesh here. Waterfalls and limestone cliffs dot the area, with plenty of hiking trails to reach them. Dawki is truly for nature and adventure seekers, with river adventure camps just outside of the town.

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  • Krangsuri Falls

    Located off the tourist circuit, this incredibly magical waterfall is a must-visit while touring southern Meghalaya. About two hours' drive from Mawlynnong, the falls must be reached by negotiating a tiny road and a gentle set of stone paths leading down. You will hear the falls before you see them. The water cascades off a flat wall like ridge and plunges into a moderately deep pool of an intense blue that is unbelievably beautiful.

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  • Living root bridge & Riwai Village

    Just 8 kilometres from picturesque Mawlynnong is the equally lovely little village of Riwai. Inspired by Mawlynnong, the residents of Riwai have taken up the mantra of clean and green eco-tourism and are following the model set in place by the famous neighbouring village. They take pride in their surroundings and also in their natural heritage, the Living Root Bridge here is one of the oldest and well maintained in Meghalaya, although not very large.

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  • Bophill Falls

    Another hidden gem, this waterfall seldom has visitors as it's located on an alternate road connecting Dawki and Mawlynnong. During the monsoons, it is a raging torrent cascading over a wide cliff. The waters run straight through the valley and into the Bangladesh plains, clearly visible from the road and the bridge that frames the falls.

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  • Kudengrim Falls

    Kudengrim village is in the lap of nature, surrounded by dense and old-growth forest. Close to the village is a gorgeous example of a living root bridge, only a twenty-minute walk. Further on is a wide-brimmed, three-tier waterfall that feeds a stream cutting through the lush forest. Flowing like a sheet of water over smooth granite, the trek will take you over thin bamboo walkways constructed over the stream and in places, right through the water itself. Prepare to hop from rock to rock and get a little wet during this hike. Kudengrim is a short hour and a half drive from Mawlynnong and Dawki is halfway on the route.

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  • Dawki Falls

    Just 5 kilometres from Dawki is a little known, unique waterfall known as Byrdaw Falls. Located next to the tiny village of Pomshutia, it requires a bit of a walk to reach but is well worth it. A 30-minute walk through the forest takes you to a cement staircase that goes down to the base of the falls. Uniquely, this pathway takes you around the sides and even behind the falls as it plunges 150 metres to the pool below, the back of the waterfall is a concave rock formation through which the stairway has been cleverly constructed.

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  • Pynursla

    A landscape photographer's dream, the little town of Pynursla is located on a ridge overlooking the wild and heavily forested valleys below. Hiking trails crisscross through and connected the little villages. The region is truly diverse, emerge from a humid forest valley and find yourself in a vast meadow ringed with pine trees.

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