No one would ever leave this place untouched on their visit to Meghalaya~the land of clouds! The mind gets curious and at the same time eager to visit the cleanest village of Asia-as declared in 2003. One would keep wondering, what exactly sets it apart from the other villages and how the people and the place as a whole would be like.
I got the answers to my questions on my visit to this place. I witnessed the lifestyle of the people, their food, interacted with the locals, encountered their hospitality and also had a nice stroll in the village campus.
We entered the village at around 11 am with an adventurous and scenic ride through the narrow blind fold lanes, with huge standing tall paddy crops on either side of the lane. You need to drive really attentively and also honk to make the driver be aware who would be coming from the other end as the road is narrow.
Do visit the church which is on the entrance of the village. Once I stepped inside the village, I was amazed by the vibrant atmosphere and the cleanliness of the place. They had small dustbins made up of bamboo placed at many locations and you could not see a bit of slime around the place.
The locals resided in tiny and cozy houses made up of bamboo and wood which gave a very artistic look to it. They rely on agriculture and tourism for their livelihood. They cultivate black pepper, paddy, pineapple and betel nut. The locals are very artistic and are skilled in their craft of making beautiful and useful things from wood and bamboo which can be bought as souvenirs from the place.
Each one of them have their own small land for cultivation and are engaged in pig farming as pork is widely used in cooking and hens for poultry.
Many varieties of flowers are also grown which add to the atmosphere with their vibrant colors and fragrance. With it being a women dominating place, another commendable thing that I acknowledged on my interaction with a local was that the property and wealth are passed on to the daughters from their mother for generations to come so that the surname of their mother is always remembered.
It is worth a night's stay at this village, although, I missed out on it but had a stomach full lunch there which included rice, daal, vegetable and chilly. The food was plain with not much spices added to it but still it suited my taste buds. Do buy some spices from there and bring it back home. The locals greeted us with warmth and were very hospitable.
The Mawlynnong village has maintained its tag of being the cleanest village in Asia till date and will continue to do so. The locals need to be applauded for every effort that they put in to maintain the hygiene of the place. I am sure, in the coming years, it would have more number of national and international tourists coming there for a visit.
So, if you need to escape from the hustle bustle of your busy life, pack your bags and head to this village and spend few days under the hospitality of the locals.
Also, every thing here is very affordable and you will get it all at a shoe string budget.
Suggestions: Do not carry plastic bags or litter the place and also do not smoke once you are here. Let's add on to their efforts of keeping the place and the atmosphere fresh and clean.