Mawlynnong, famous for having been dubbed as Asia’s cleanest village, is a small village in the East Khasi Hills district of the Meghalaya state. It is located 90 km from Shillong, along the Indo-Bangla border. In 2003, Discover India magazine declared the village as ‘the cleanest in Asia and the cleanest in India’ in 2005. The village offers picturesque natural beauty, a trek to the living root bridge at a neighbouring village Riwai, sight of natural balancing rock, and a strange natural phenomenon of a boulder balancing on another rock, to mention a few.
Punsari is a village which will force metro cities to rethink. It is located in Sabarkantha district in the state of Gujarat at about 80 km from the state’s capital, Gandhinagar. The village provides WiFi, CCTVs, AC classrooms, local mineral water supply, sewer & drainage project, a healthcare centre, banking facilities to toll-free complaint reception service to its people. It has received the award of being the best Gram Panchayat in Gujarat, earning global admiration.
3. Hiware Bazar
Hiware Bazar, a village in the Ahmednagar District of Maharashtra, is noted for its irrigation system and water conservation program. With which it has fought drought and drinking water problems. In 2012, it was recorded that the village, with its 235 families and an overall population of 1,250, had a monthly per capita income of Rs 30,000, up from Rs. 830 in 1995, plus it boasted of 60 millionaires.The sole reason behind this fairy-tale change is its sarpanch (village chief) Popatrao Pawar. He used funds from government schemes and launched a program to regenerate its natural resources.The village received the "National Water Award" from the Government of India.
4. Shani Shingnapur
Shani Shingnapur or Sonai, located 35 km from Ahmednagar city, is in the state of Maharashtra. The village is known for its popular temple of Shani, the Hindu god of the planet (graha) Saturn. Another important reason for it being famous is the fact that no house in the village has doors, only door frames. Despite this, no theft case has been reported in the village so far. Not just that, there is no police station in the village. Taking note of its reputation, in January, 2011, United Commercial (UCO) Bank opened a ‘lockless’ branch in the village, the first of its kind in the country.
Pothanikkad or Pothanicad is a village in Ernakulam district in the Indian state of Kerala. It’s the first village to have achieved 100% literacy in the country. Not only does the village boast of city-standard high-schools, but also of primary schools and private schools.
Dharnai village in Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, is now lit-up by a Greenpeace India solar-powered micro-grid. It is the first village in India where all aspects of life are powered by solar. The 100 kilowatt (kW) system powers the 450 homes of the 2,400 residents, 50 commercial operations, two schools, a training centre and a health care facility. A battery backup ensures the power around the clock.
Karnataka’s small village Korkrebellur believes in the conservation of nature. While most other villages consider birds a nuisance because they harm crops, Kokrebellur boasts of rare species of birds that fly around and don’t even mind humans much. The villagers treat their winged compatriots as family and have even created an area for wounded birds to rest and heal.