Mawlynnong Village, which was declared by Discover India magazine, the cleanest village of Asia, is situated 90 km from Shillong. This beautiful little village is located in the Indo-Bangla border. The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture, and they have remained keen for ages to keep their environment clean.
Dustbins made out of bamboo are found all around the village, and the villagers make it a point that wastes are not thrown everywhere. This waste is then collected in a pit, which is later used as manure. The villagers are also playing their parts well in spreading the message of conservation of forest by regularly planting trees and keeping the forest replenished.
Besides being amazingly picturesque, this village offers several strange natural sights, which include a living root bridge and a balancing rock. This little village can be an excellent get-away for tourists looking for relaxation away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Smit is a small and serene village that is located about 16 km from the capital city of Shillong, in the East Khasi Hills. A picturesque drive through the winding roads across the beautiful countryside would lead you into the lovely green hills which seem to stretch on forever.
One of the most imposing architectures of Smit is the local priest’s (who is known as ‘Lyngdoh’) house. A house built with wood and bamboo and having a thatched roof is highly revered by the locals. The ‘Ling Sad’, the royal residence of ‘Hima Khyrem’, believed to be the guardian of the indigenous religion, is also situated here.
Smit is particularly famous for its village brewery, which happens to be the only legal bar in the area. The brewery serves local rice beer and is primarily served by an aged man. To reach Smit, tourists can avail the city share taxi or bus service, or reserve a transport from Shillong.
Mawphlang is known for the sacred forests that have been preserved for ages. The Khasis believe that forests are sacred and thus need to be protected. Mawphlang and many similar forests found in the Khasi Hills have thus been preserved by customary religious sanctions. Today they serve as an ideal destination for all those who love to admire the beauty of nature.
The Mawphlang village is located 25 km from Shillong. The term ‘maw phlang’ which means ‘grassy stones’, derives its name from the monoliths found in the region. Mawphlang has the history of being the centre of Presbyterian Church of Wales Missionary and medical activity in the Khasi Hills during the 1890s.
Since the Khasis believe these forests to be sacred, people are prohibited from cutting trees or even picking up leaves or flowers from the forest. The Khasis believe that if anything is taken from the forest, evil spirit will haunt the person. Various stunning life forms of trees, orchids, flowers and insects can be found in the sacred grove.
Moving beyond, this amazing forest is surrounded by a sharp contrast of vast stretches of grasslands. And the striking sunset from this grassland is a feast to the eye in itself.
Laitkynsew village, in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya is best known for its living root bridge. This fifty-three feet long and over a hundred years old Umnnoi root bridge, locally known as ‘Jingkieng Deingjri’ is the prime reason why thousands of tourists from all across the world visit this village every year.
The living root bridges are one of the must-see architectural wonders of Meghalaya. Built by the Khasis, strong and sturdy living roots are diverted such that they become a pathway over a river. Thus these serve as bridges and ease transportation.
Laitkynsew is also the best viewpoint for the Ka Likai waterfall, which originates from the neighbouring village of Nongriat. The best time to visit this place would be during the monsoon season. The best way to reach the village of Laitkynsew is by booking a tourist cab from Shillong.
Mawsynram, once reported to be the wettest place on earth, is a village located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, and is approximately 60 km from Shillong. Mawsynram can be heaven on earth for nature loving people, with all the steep, rolling, green mountains and beautiful waterfalls.
Another major attraction of this village is the Mawjymbuin Cave. This cave is filled with amazing stalagmites, which has been formed from the dripping and deposition of mineralized solutions and calcium carbonate, over the years. The cave also has a dome-shaped rock with a flat top and is called the Symper Rock.
Some other points of interest within and near Mawsynram are the Khreng Khreng Viewpoint, Jakrem Hot-spring and Ritmawksir Viewpoint. The best way to reach Mawsynram and also visit all the nearby places is by taking the Meghalaya tourism bus or cab service which covers all these wonderful destinations over the period of an entire day.