02-08-2017 04:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Simple steps culminate into a clean and green village
Anyone who has heard of Mawlynnong village would definitely wish to go there. This place, also known as God’s own garden is not only the cleanest place in India but the cleanest in Asia. It was awarded the title – Cleanest village in Asia in 2003 by Discover India.
Apart from being a clean village, this beautiful place has many more feathers to its cap like 100 percent literacy rate. Here, the patriarchal system which exists in many other parts of the country has given way to women empowerment.
One may wonder how people manage to keep their village so clean. People here lead very simple lives and for them, cleanliness is next to Godliness. That is the reason why one will find bamboo dustbins in front of every house and all over the village. Dried leaves shed by the trees are routinely picked and put in these dustbins.
The villagers are fully aware of the hazards of plastic and hence, plastic is strictly banned in Mawlynnong village. Unhealthy habits such as smoking is also prohibited. Villagers stick to the rules and those who flout them are charged heavily. Such strict actions prove to be a deterrent and ensure that rules are followed.
The villagers make compost by digging pits and dumping all garbage in it which gradually gets converted into manure that is used to fertilise the numerous colourful gardens that dot the village.
The Mawlynnong village belongs to the Khasi tribe. One interesting fact about this tribe is that the patriarchal system is overshadowed by women who are given importance and respect. So, children carry their mother’s surname and wealth is passed down from the mother to the youngest daughter of the family.
A very good reason to visit this wonderful place is The Living Root Bridges which are unique to this region. These bridges are natural bridges suspended over streams and rivulets. They are fashioned by Khasi villagers who weave the roots of ficus trees across waterways. The hardy roots slowly grow and intertwine to form a sturdy bridge. It is no wonder that they have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Another popular attraction of Mawlynnong Village is the Sky View. It is a bamboo tower rising upto 85 feet offering breathtaking views of the entire region as well as landscape of neighbouring Bangladesh.
Amidst the greenery, one can hear the constant and gentle gurgling of the Mawlynnong waterfall which is a perfect place to unwind in the lap of nature.
The village is also known for the Church of Epiphany which is a century old and has not lost its old-world charm. Its premises is very attractive lots of greenery and patches of red and orange flowers blossoming around it.
The villagers consume food prepared by organically grown vegetables. Even the meat comes from in-house bred birds and animals. Some of their popular delicacies include Jadoh – a meat and rice based delight, and Tungrymbai – a sumptuous mesh of fermented soybeans, bamboo leaves, and local spices.
One will be bowled over by the hospitality extended by the natives of Mawlynnong which happens to be one of their most well known qualities. The best time to visit this place is monsoon as the rains trigger a vast blanket of greenery over the place making it look all the more breathtaking and picturesque.