Until 2003, no tourists visited the remote community of 500 inhabitants high in the mountains, which had no roads and was accessible only by foot.
Home to the Khasi tribal people, Mawlynnong is famous for being a rare matrilineal society, where property and wealth are passed on from the mother to her youngest daughter and children take their mother's surname.
Bamboo dustbins stand at every corner, volunteers sweep the streets at regular intervals and large signs order visitors to throw away plastic packaging: littering is sternly frowned upon.
After the village built its first road 12 years ago, a journalist from Discover India travel magazine wrote a now-infamous article naming it the cleanest village in Asia.
The trickle of tourists became a flood, with visitors now reaching 250 a day in high season, swelling the village's population by 50 per cent.
The village was hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a radio address last year for its "mission of cleanliness."
But the accolades have brought several downsides.
"Now there is noise pollution. I've talked to the village council which has written to the government to build a new parking lot further away." said Rishot Khongthohrem, 51, a guesthouse owner.
Deepak Laloo, a former official of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum, advised the village in the early stages of its tourism development. "There's no more privacy. A woman is washing her clothes, she's being photographed," he said.
Mawlynnong's concern for hygiene emerged about 130 years ago when an outbreak of cholera struck.
With no medical facilities in the village, cleanliness was seen as vital to prevent the spread of disease.
Mawlynnong maintained its fastidious habits and has gone on to other achievements, eradicating open defecation -- prevalent across much of rural India -- with toilets for each of its approximately 95 households.
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