Mawlynnong was awarded with the prestigious title of ‘Cleanest Village in Asia’ in 2003 by Discover India Magazine. We took a halt near this village for lunch and then a stroll across Mawlynnong.
By the effort of the villagers, the road were swept clean of garbage and leaves which were disposed neatly in hand-made, conical, cane baskets. These waste baskets were placed religiously on trees or houses at every 10 feet. Bamboo shoots, wood, large leaves repeated word and hay being their most preferred home-building material with clean well-maintained gardens in almost every house.Rawai, another village which follows the footsteps of Mawlynnong, was next on our list post-lunch. There is a very high watchtower made up of bamboo shoot and wood, giving a bird’s eye view of the region.
From this 80-85 feet high “sky view” you can have a good view of the Bangladesh terrain as well as the village. Bamboo is an important part of local economy in most part of the North East. You will be amazed how keen these people are with maintaining the integrity of nature that no man made material is used in the construction of this watch tower, including nylon ropes.
Climbing the last part of this tower is most tricky, although we did with tons of excitement. Next was a 500 meters decent through the forest buffer area to reach the Living Root Bridge which is another 100 feet below. The living root bridges in Riwai Village is a unique bioengineered bridge by the Khasis on this river. The single-deck root bridge is basically entanglements of massive thick roots, which forms a bridge strong enough to sustain weight. One has to climb down through rocks placed conveniently to form a staircase leading to the bridge. The grandeur of the waterfall ia already mesmerizing with a stream of crystal clear water flowing down through rocky beds; some beds forming natural bathtubs within themselves.The water was so clean and cold and the music it created while flowing, tempted us to jump in right through.
As we retorted back upwards, we realized that the troll is more difficult to trek than imagined…some five hundreds steps- cemented or natural, created over time.
There were some benches for resting and enjoying the beauty, breeze, flowers, butterflies, sound of the flowing water and chirping birds with a continuous buzz of crickets really keeps the spirit up.As we rested on one of such benches, I smiled to myself thinking what will the much talked about Dawki has in store for me, to compare to this magnificence…