Mawlynnong-Asia’s cleanest village-Part 1

As promised earlier,I am back with my diaries on our travels to North -East India.

This time it is a visit to a magical village situated in the state of Meghalaya,about 90 kms from Shillong,This village is special as it has the distinction of being declared the cleanest village in Asia in 2003 by Discover India magazine and again in 2005.This has been reinforced by the UNESCO and Natinal Geographic.Surprised?Yes,in India. in stark contrast to the fact that India is notorious for its unclean streets,garbage dumps on roads and unplanned cities.

Having heard about this unique and picturesque place ,we couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to visit when we were in Shillong.We started our journey from Shillong at around 8 and settled ourselves and the kids into our sturdy ,hired vehicle,The Hubby was driving, of course.The natural beauty on the route to this far-off ,nestled in a corner village has to be seen to be believed.

maw2The lush green mountains simply take your breath away.Unlike most hill stations,where you feel giddy,the drive was very pleasant as the roads, instead of being narrow and winding were broad and smooth.Although that lasted only for the first few kilometers.

mawWe stopped at many places asking for directions and stocking up on snacks and water for the kids,We came across two beautiful churches on our way..

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maw4 The route offers many surprises such as hidden waterfalls and lush green forests.We did not mind the fact that we had been driving for nearly three hours and still no closer to our destination. Until,we came upon a neighbouring village ,Riwai,where we witnessed another gorgeous natural sight.A living root bridge.We bought tickets for Rs 10 each at a small ticket counter and made our way down a stone pathway, barefoot.This bridge is around 500 years old and has been made by twisting the roots of the Indian rubber tree.It is the result of the joint effort of Nature and Man and takes years to be functional.pathway.The hubby had Perk in his lap while I held Munch’s hand.It was worth the trouble we took for what we saw in front of us  was truly nature’s miracle.I felt deep sympathy for the people who gave up the idea of going down to see the bridge after seeing the steps.They have no idea what they missed. Soon we could here the sound of trickling water

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The bridge is literally suspended over the river and is used by the locals to commute between villages during the torrential rainy season that hit the state for most parts of the year.

maw6 maw7Doesn’t this look like a set straight out of a Hollywood film like  The Lord of The Rings or Avatar?

We went down the bridge and dipped our bare feet in the cool water,clicked innumerable memories to take back home.We spent so much time here that we almost forgot about our actual destination-Mawlynnong.

Munch on the bridge

Munch on the bridge

Munch with a Khasi lady

Munch with a Khasi lady

aa3After much admiration ,we finally made our way up the steep path and reminded ourselves about our actual destination.

aa4To quench our thirst,we bought pineapples which the locals cut,peel and serve on steel plates with some salt.maw10We our now on the last leg of our drive,15 minutes from Mawlynnong….

To be continued……

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