India’s cleanest village becomes surprise tourist hit

Hidden away in India’s restive Northeast, India’s cleanest village has become an unlikely tourist attraction, attracting a steady stream of nature lovers to the remote Khasi Hills in Meghalaya.

En route to Mawlynnong, Meghalaya.

En route to Mawlynnong, Meghalaya. Image by Travelling Slacker / CC BY 2.0

The villagers of Mawlynnong have a long tradition of cleanliness, supposedly introduced following a cholera outbreak in the 1880s, and the village has become famous for its litter-free streets and flower-filled verges. For Indian visitors, Mawlynnong offers a welcome reminder of what all villages in India were like before the arrival of modern plastic rubbish, but the influx of tourists - which can reach 250 people per day in peak season, doubling the population of the village - is placing a severe strain on the ability of residents to keep their village clean and unpolluted.

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