Kongthong- Whistling Village Of India | Meghalay’s Best-Kept Secret

Kongthong village is situated in the East- Khasi hills of Meghalaya which is 55km from the capital city Shillong, popularly known as the whistling village of India.

Meghalaya, known as the “abode of clouds”, surrounded by Garo, Khasi, and Jayantia hills, is one of the North-East Treasures, blessed with incomparable natural beauty that hides many secrets inside its clouded mountains, greenery, cascading waterfalls, sparkling clean rivers, natural caves, traditions, cultural heritage, and many more. Among all secrets, Kongthong- the whistling village of India is one of them.

Kongthong Village lies 55km away from Meghalaya’s capital city Shillong close to Cherrapunjee and is the least explored beauty of Meghalaya. Away from modernity, the simple village is itself extraordinary for its amazing quality of living. The village not only clouded with pristine natural beauty but also marked its entry in the UNWTO’S( United Nations World Tourism Organisation) world’s best village list for its unique way of communication through different whistling tunes. Let’s explore the village and also gain some general knowledge about our country.

Best time to visit: October-May

Timings:9 AM-5 PM

whistling village of india
pc: source


The villagers of Kongthong are Khasi tribes. They follow a religion called “Seng Khasi” But they are different from other Khasi tribes due to the unique whistling communication language. There is no specific history about how the whistling sound originated but there is a saying about the tradition. The locals said, long ago a man while escaping from some goons climbed on a tree and called his friends with whistling tunes to rescue him without creating any trace to the goons. From that incident, locals started practicing whistling tunes for communicating with each other.

whistling village of india
Kids and women in their traditional attire…..pc: source

Interesting Facts and Traditions:

  • The villagers have a custom of calling their names with different specific calling tunes for each individual. These tunes are given by their mothers. The tune is known as “Jingrwai Lawbei”, which means “Mother’s love song”. This tradition is being followed from generations. The naming of the baby by their mothers is known as a “matriarchal tradition”.
  • They have 2 stages of tune development. The first stage is: when a child is born, the mother hums and whispers a special whistled tune repeatedly in front of the baby that comes from her heart for the particular baby, and gradually that becomes the calling tune of his/her name.
  • The Second stage is, when the child becomes an adult, he/she develops his/her special tunes for communicating with other family members and villagers. It seems difficult for us but for them, it is very easy to create the tune.
  • Each person in the kongthong village has 2 names. That are long and short names. The long name is given at birth and the short name is used at home which is given by one’s mother.
  • Have you ever heard about parents shouting at children with whistling tunes?… Yes, in Kongthong village it is a common thing. The moment you arrive in the village you can hear whistling or singing tunes everywhere. Isn’t it amazing….?
  • Due to their communication quality, the villagers have mastered bird tunes.
  • The village has an Upper Primary school where the 6th to 8th class is present. It is unbelievable but true….though they are communicating through whistling tunes they study in Hindi and English language.

Things To Do In The kongthong Village:

1.Stroll Around The Village:

Take a tour of the village. As the village is not so big, it will take 2-3 hrs to complete it. You can take the help of a local guide to communicate with the villagers. You will get to know their livelihood, traditions, culture, food, and how they are living such a simple life without modern touch in this 21st century.

whistling village of india
Traditional cottage of Khasi Tribes…..PC : source

2. Visit Bee farm :

By reaching the village you get to see many honey bee farms around the village. Kongthong honey considers one of the best-quality honey. Apart from this, you will gain knowledge about how the honey bee is important for our ecosystem from the farmers. This honey is distributed throughout Meghalayas. Please buy some health in forms of honey.

whistling village of india
Traditional bee harvesting…pc:source

3. Enjoy at Nature’s Lap:

Plan a weekend, backpack your essential things, and get ready to indulge in the beauty. The village is not just famous for its whistling language, the landscape and the valleys here are unparalleled beauty. You can enjoy your holiday by flying a kite with locals, can do swimming in the river, hike into the wildlife and many more.

whistling village of india
Road to the village….pc:source

You can stay in the traditional Khasi cottages and listen to Khasi fables around a bonfire and relish the delicious Khasi dishes. The locals here are very hospitable. You can admire their simplicity and appreciate how beautifully they love to serve the tourists with all their hearts. I think in cities you don’t find this kind of kindness. Isn’t it beautiful to have such an experience…..Surely everyone will fall for them.

How To Reach kongthong Village:

Nearest Airport: Umroi Airport, Shillong (79kms)…After reaching the airport hire a cab to reach the village.

Nearest Railway Station: Guwahati Railway Station, Assam…After reaching the station, hire a cab to Shillong and then hire a taxi or cab from Shillong to reach the destination which is 55km away.

Where To Stay In The kongthong village:

You can get information from local guides about many traditional bamboo cottages where you can stay for 1-2 nights, which are functioning by some villagers. I am suggesting one of the sites where you can book your stay…Meghalaya Kongthong Bamboo Hut Accommodation.

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