What’s so special about a Language? Is it just a mode of communication? Well, in a village called Kongthong in Meghalaya, language is all about tunes. Located in the remote part of East Khasi Hills, this unusual village makes use of sounds to contact one another.
Kongthog is also called the whistling village. This tradition of using sounds to communicate is followed in this village from generations to generations. If you are excited to know more about the aberrant village in Meghalaya, then here is everything you need to know about it. Why not embrace yourself with the tunes and hums of Kongthog?
Fascinating facts about Kongthong
Kongthong, with the population in hundreds, is the most peaceful villages in India. Apart from communicating through sounds, this village surrounds around a calm atmosphere and the heavenly beauty across the paradise of Kongthong is a feast for the eyes.
People in this village are socially isolated. They are confined to their own boundaries and are rarely seen mingling with the outer world. Even though it has become a sure shot travel destination for many bag packers across the globe because of its unusual culture, the villagers here are still uninfluenced by the modernity brought down by the tourists. They enjoy residing in their own zone of uniqueness, happiness and satisfaction.
The origin of using sounds takes us back to the tale, where a man was trying to protect himself from goons. While the goons attacked him, he climbed a tree and started calling out his friends by making sounds and this made the goons remain clueless about him. Consequently, he was saved by his friends on time from the attacker. Since then, the culture of creating sounds and whistling to address each other continued.
Soon this tradition had become a matriarchy practice. The women in this village think of a lullaby for their baby, when they get pregnant. The mother imparts her musical knowledge with specific tunes to her baby. After the birth of the baby, adults around the village hum that tune, so the baby identifies the tune. When the kids grow up, this tune becomes a part of their lives as well as their identity. This tune is also known as Jingrwai Lawbei.
There is also a belief among the villagers that there are unseen ghosts in the forests and rivers. If names are been called out, the ghost can spell an evil eye on the person making him/ her fall sick. So the tunes are used instead of names as a means of protection against the ghosts.
Things to Do
Kongthong is an interesting place to visit. The best thing one can do is explore the tradition and lifestyle of the villagers. Pay attention to the different whistling sounds and learn how the names are called in tunes.
Apart from this, one can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. This place is away from the maddening crowd of the city life. Kongthong is truly pure and pristine. One can enjoy the serenity and nature all around.
You can also try activities such as swimming, bird watching, kite flying and hiking. Don’t miss out the Khasi dishes along with Kahsi fables around the bonfire.
Best time to Visit
You can visit Kongthong any month of the year. However, you can never predict the weather at Meghalaya. Mostly, from October till the end of May is a good time to visit here, as you can enjoy clear skies and pleasant weather. One can also make a week- long plan if you wish to explore entire Meghalaya.
The sun sets early here, so it starts getting dark around 4:30 pm. It is advisable to reach this place before 4:30 pm. To keep your mobile charged carry a power bank, this village faces power cuts. Make sure to carry mosquito repellent as pests and bugs may create a problem. If you are visiting Kongthong during monsoons or pre monsoons remember to carry an umbrella and wear waterproof footwear.
How to Reach
If you wish to visit Kongthong by air, Umroi Airport located at Shillong is the closet option. The nearest railway station is Guwahati. From Guwahati, one can reach Shillong by a private car or shared sumos.
Kongthong is around 55 km from Shillong. One can hire a car from Shillong to reach Kongthong. However, due to improper roads connected to this village, one needs to treck up from the last point on the motorable road, which is approximately 7km. The trekking route is extremely mesmerizing with the natural beauty around the village.
What can be better than being surrounded by beautiful valleys and plains along with songs and hums? The uniqueness of this village and culture is one of the reasons to pack your bags which lead to this tiny hamlet nestled in the lap of nature.