Have you ever forgotten someone's name right after they introduced themselves? You're not alone. It happens to the best of us. But what if you lived in a village where people didn't use names at all? That's right, welcome to Kongthong - a village in India where instead of using names, people communicate with tunes.

Imagine walking down the streets and hearing someone humming a tune that sounds like your name. You turn around and realize that it's actually your friend trying to get your attention. This might sound bizarre, but it's a reality for the people of Kongthong.

And it's not just for humans either! Even their livestock have their own unique tunes which are used to call them back home. Can you imagine walking around and hearing a cow mooing out its own tune? That would be quite the sight!

But don't worry if you're not musically inclined - the villagers will teach you your own tune so that you can fit right in. And who knows, maybe you'll even start humming your friends' tunes instead of using their names once you get back home!

So next time you forget someone's name, just remember - it could be worse, you could be living in Kongthong!

Table of Contents

History and Culture of Kongthong

Kongthong is a small village located in the northeastern state of Meghalaya, India. The village is known for its unique tradition of singing names instead of calling out to people. This tradition has been passed down for generations and is still practiced today.

The history of Kongthong dates back to the early 1800s when it was founded by the Khasi tribe. The village is surrounded by lush green hills, and the air is filled with the sweet fragrance of wildflowers.

The people of Kongthong are known for their warm hospitality and delicious cuisine. They love to cook with local ingredients like bamboo shoot and black sesame.

One interesting fact about Kongthong is that every resident has a musical name given to them at birth. These names are usually inspired by nature or significant events, such as the birth of a child during a thunderstorm.

The villagers believe that singing names instead of calling out to people brings good luck and wards off evil spirits. Tourists who visit Kongthong often find themselves mesmerized by the beautiful melodies that fill the air.

If you're planning a trip to Meghalaya, be sure to include Kongthong on your itinerary! It's an excellent place to experience the unique culture and traditions of India's northeastern region while enjoying some delicious food and meeting some friendly locals!

How to Reach and getting around Kongthong

To reach Kongthong, you can take a bus or drive from Shillong, the nearest major city located about 60 kilometers away. The village is nestled in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya and can be reached through a scenic journey that takes around two and a half hours.

Another option is to take a shared taxi from Shillong to Sohra (Cherrapunjee) and then take another shared taxi or private car to Kongthong. This route offers stunning views of the lush green valleys, waterfalls, and caves that dot the landscape.

If you're coming from Guwahati, you can take a train or flight to Shillong and then follow any of the above-mentioned routes to reach Kongthong. Alternatively, you can hire a private car from Guwahati directly to Kongthong.

For those who prefer adventure and trekking, there's an option to hike through the forested hills from Mawkyrwat in South West Khasi Hills district. The trek takes around four days and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding hills, forests, and rivers.

Whichever option you choose, make sure to carry enough cash as there are no ATMs or banks in Kongthong. Also, be prepared for basic accommodations as the village has limited options for tourists.

In conclusion, reaching Kongthong may require some effort but it's well worth it for those seeking an offbeat travel experience in Meghalaya.

Weather of Kongthong

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Kongthong, a small village located in the state of Meghalaya, India, experiences a subtropical climate. The weather in Kongthong is pleasant throughout the year, with moderate to heavy rainfall during monsoon season.

The best time to visit Kongthong is from October to April, as the weather during these months is mild and comfortable for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The temperature during this period ranges from 15°C to 25°C, making it perfect for exploring the village's lush greenery, trekking through nearby hills, and experiencing local culture.

During monsoon season (June to September), Kongthong receives heavy rainfall that can cause landslides and make transportation difficult. It is advised not to visit during this time as it can be dangerous.

In winter (December to February), the temperature can drop as low as 5°C, so visitors should pack warm clothing. However, the clear skies and crisp air make it a beautiful time to visit Kongthong.

Overall, the best time to visit Kongthong is from October to April when the weather is pleasant and comfortable for exploring all that this charming village has to offer.

Places to Visit in Kongthong

  • Hiking Trail to Kongthong Peak: The hike to Kongthong Peak is a must-do for adventure enthusiasts. It is an easy-to-moderate level trek, and the view from the top is breathtakingly beautiful.

  • Nohwet Living Root Bridge: Located in the nearby village of Nohwet, this living root bridge is a unique engineering marvel made by the Khasi tribe. It is made by twisting and weaving the roots of trees so that they grow across a river or stream.

  • Sacred Grove: This dense forest area located in Kongthong is considered sacred by the Khasi tribe, who believe it to be home to their ancestors' spirits. The grove is well-preserved and offers an immersive experience in nature.

  • Sohbar Falls: Sohbar Falls is a stunning waterfall located about 25 kilometers from Kongthong. The waterfalls from a height of 100 feet into a natural pool, making it an ideal spot for swimming and picnicking.

  • Mawlynnong Village: Mawlynnong Village, located about 40 kilometers from Kongthong, has been awarded as "Asia's cleanest village." The village offers stunning views of lush greenery and well-maintained gardens.

  • Dawki River: Dawki River flows along the India-Bangladesh border and offers pristine water that reflects the surrounding hills' beauty. Visitors can enjoy boating, kayaking, or simply soaking in the tranquil beauty of this river.

  • Shillong Peak: Shillong Peak is one of the highest points in Meghalaya and offers panoramic views of Shillong city's skyline and surrounding hills.

  • Don Bosco Museum: Don Bosco Museum in Shillong showcases Northeast India's cultural diversity through various exhibits on art, history, music, and traditions.

  • Umiam Lake: Umiam Lake is located about 17 kilometers from Shillong and offers scenic views of hills and valleys around it. It also offers various water sports activities such as kayaking, boating, and sailing.

  • Laitlum Canyon: Laitlum Canyon offers breathtaking views of deep gorges covered with thick forests on one side and undulating green hills on another side—ideal for photography enthusiasts looking for postcard-perfect shots.

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Adventures Activities
  • David Scott Trail
  • Ziplining at Dawki
  • Krem Liat Prah Cave
  • Romantic Places
  • Cherrapunjee
  • Dawki
  • Shillong
  • Relaxing Retreats
  • Wah Kaba Falls
  • Cherrapunjee
  • Nohsngithiang Falls or Mawsmai Falls
  • Hilly Regions
  • Cherrapunjee
  • Mawlynnong
  • Dawki
  • Food Options and Local Cuisine of Kongthong

    Kongthong, a small village in Meghalaya, offers a unique culinary experience to visitors. The local cuisine is heavily influenced by the Khasi culture and the abundance of fresh produce in the region. One of the must-try dishes is Jadoh, a rice dish cooked with pork and a variety of local herbs and spices. Another popular dish is Dohkhlieh, a salad made with boiled pork, onions, and chillies. For vegetarians, there's Tungrymbai, a fermented soybean dish that's typically served with rice. The use of bamboo shoots in curries is also quite common here.

    About dining options:

    Kongthong may be a small village, but it has some great options for dining out. Here are three restaurants/cafes that offer delicious food and great ambience:

    1. Café Cherrapunjee: Located on the main road leading to Kongthong, this café serves up some delectable Khasi dishes such as Jadoh and Dohkhlieh. The ambience is cosy and rustic, with wooden interiors and outdoor seating.

    2. Mawlynnong Guest House: This charming guest house has an in-house restaurant that serves up fresh and flavourful food made with locally sourced ingredients. Don't miss their Bamboo Shoot Curry!

    3. Kongthong Inn: This quaint little inn has an on-site restaurant that offers a range of Indian and Chinese dishes along with some Khasi specialities such as Tungrymbai. The restaurant has indoor as well as outdoor seating options.

    Whether you're looking for authentic local cuisine or just want to grab a quick bite on your way to explore Kongthong's natural beauty, these dining options are sure to satisfy your cravings!

    Best areas for accommodation in Kongthong

    Kongthong is a picturesque village situated in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, India. The village is known for its unique tradition of using musical notes instead of names to identify people. If you are planning to visit this beautiful village and wondering where to stay, then here are some of the best areas for accommodation in Kongthong.

    1. Kongthong Village: This is the heart of the village where you can experience the local culture and traditions up close. There are several homestays available here that offer a comfortable stay along with delicious local food.

    2. Mawlynnong: This is a neighboring village that is known for being one of the cleanest villages in Asia. It has some excellent eco-resorts that offer a peaceful stay amidst nature.

    3. Pynursla: This is a town located about 20 km from Kongthong and has some decent hotels and lodges for those who prefer modern amenities.

    Here are three properties for accommodation in Kongthong:

    1. Ri Kynjai Resort: This luxury resort is located near Umiam Lake and offers stunning views of the lake and hills. The resort has spacious rooms, an infinity pool, spa, and restaurant serving local cuisine.

    2. Wangen Homestay: This budget homestay is located in Kongthong Village and offers clean rooms with basic amenities at affordable prices. The hosts are friendly and welcoming, making it an excellent choice for budget travelers.

    3. Mawlynnong Hostel: This hostel is located in Mawlynnong Village and offers dormitory-style accommodation at reasonable prices. It has basic amenities like shared bathrooms, lockers, and free Wi-Fi, making it perfect for backpackers on a tight budget.

    Overall, Kongthong offers a unique experience to travelers looking to explore Meghalaya's offbeat destinations. With these accommodation options, you can enjoy your stay while experiencing the local culture and natural beauty of the region.

    Shopping in Kongthong

    Kongthong village, also known as the 'Whistling Village' of Meghalaya, is a unique destination in India that offers an exotic shopping experience to travelers. The village is famous for its traditional Khasi culture and music, which is reflected in the handicrafts and souvenirs sold here. Here are some things you can buy, markets to visit, and things to avoid while shopping in Kongthong.

    Things to buy:

    1. Bamboo handicrafts: Kongthong is known for its skilled bamboo craftsmen who make exquisite baskets, mats, hats, and other decorative items from bamboo.
    2. Khasi musical instruments: The Khasi tribe has a rich musical tradition and you can find unique instruments like the 'Tangmuri' (bamboo flute) and 'Duitara' (two-stringed guitar) in the village.
    3. Local textiles: You can buy fabrics woven by local women on traditional looms. These include shawls, skirts, bags, and other apparel made from cotton or silk.
    4. Local food products: You can also try local delicacies like 'Dohneiiong' (pork with black sesame seeds), 'Jadoh' (rice cooked with pork or chicken), or pickles made from bamboo shoots.

    Markets to visit:

    1. Traditional market: The weekly market held every Tuesday is a great place to buy fresh produce like fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. You can also find handicrafts and textiles made by local artisans here.
    2. Khlieh Iew Market: This market located in Shillong city is famous for its variety of spices, herbs, dry fruits, and other food items. You can also find traditional Khasi snacks like 'Tungrymbai' (fermented soybean paste) here.
    3. Police Bazar: This bustling market is the commercial hub of Shillong city where you can find everything from clothes to electronics at reasonable prices.

    What to avoid:

    1. Fake souvenirs: Be careful while buying souvenirs as some vendors may sell fake items that do not reflect the authentic culture of Kongthong.
    2. Overpriced items: Bargaining is common in Kongthong's markets so make sure you don't pay more than the fair price for any item.
    3. Unhygienic food stalls: While trying local street food, make sure you eat at clean stalls that follow proper hygiene practices.
    4. Photography without permission: It's important to respect the privacy of the locals while taking pictures. Always ask for permission before taking photographs.

    In conclusion, shopping in Kongthong offers a unique opportunity to experience the authentic culture of Meghalaya. From bamboo handicrafts to local food products, there's something for everyone here. Just be cautious while buying souvenirs and trying street food and

    Nightlife in Kongthong

    Kongthong is a small village located in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, India. The village is popularly known as the "Whistling Village" for its unique tradition of using whistling sounds instead of names to communicate with each other. Apart from this fascinating culture, Kongthong also has a vibrant nightlife that offers an unforgettable experience to tourists.

    The nightlife in Kongthong is not like the conventional clubbing or bar-hopping experience. Instead, it revolves around bonfires, music, and cultural activities that are unique to the Khasi community. The locals gather around the bonfires and sing traditional songs while playing their musical instruments like drums and flutes. Tourists can join in the festivities and learn about the Khasi culture while enjoying the cool breeze and starry sky.

    Here are three places in Kongthong where tourists can spend their nights and indulge in such activities:

    1. Kongthong Retreat: This picturesque resort is located amidst lush green mountains and offers a serene atmosphere for tourists to relax and unwind. The resort also hosts cultural events like folk dances and music performances that provide a glimpse into the local customs.

    2. Kongthong Homestay: For those who want an authentic experience of living with the locals, Kongthong Homestay is an excellent option. The homestay provides comfortable accommodations with home-cooked meals and organizes bonfire nights where guests can interact with their hosts and learn about their way of life.

    3. Khasi Hills Camping: For adventure seekers, Khasi Hills Camping offers a thrilling camping experience amidst nature's bounty. Along with camping facilities, they organize trekking expeditions to nearby villages where tourists can witness firsthand how people live in remote areas.

    In conclusion, Kongthong's nightlife may not be flashy or extravagant but offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in local customs and traditions while enjoying nature's beauty. Tourists can choose from various accommodations according to their preferences but should prepare themselves for an unforgettable night under the starry sky.

    Outdoor Activities in Kongthong

    While Kongthong is known for its vibrant nightlife, there are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy during the day. The picturesque surroundings and lush greenery make it the perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike.

    One of the most popular activities in Kongthong is trekking, with several trails available for both novice and experienced trekkers. The hills offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, making it a must-do activity while in Kongthong. Another popular activity is camping, which allows visitors to experience the serenity of nature up close. Whether you prefer to camp in a tent or under the stars, there are plenty of campsites available to choose from.

    If you're looking for something more adventurous, try your hand at rock climbing or rappelling. There are several cliffs and rock formations in Kongthong that provide excellent opportunities for these activities. The thrill of conquering a challenging climb or descending via a rope is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.

    In addition to these activities, visitors can also indulge in bird watching, fishing or simply taking a leisurely stroll through the village and surrounding forest areas. Whatever your interests may be, Kongthong has plenty to offer when it comes to outdoor activities.

    1. Trekking
    2. Camping
    3. Rock Climbing

    Festivals and Events in Kongthong

    Festivals and events are an essential part of the cultural heritage of Kongthong. They offer a glimpse into the traditional practices, customs, and beliefs of the Kongthong people. These events are marked with great enthusiasm and zeal, bringing together people from all walks of life. Here are some of the essential festivals and events celebrated in Kongthong:

    1. Shad Nongkrem Festival: This festival is celebrated in November every year and is one of the most prominent festivals in Meghalaya. It is a five-day-long festival that celebrates harvesting and seeks blessings from Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for a bountiful crop.
    2. Behdienkhlam Festival: Behdienkhlam is celebrated in July every year, signifying the end of a plague or epidemic. This festival involves carrying intricate wooden structures called 'Raths' by young men who race to reach their destination first.
    3. Laho Dance Festival: Celebrated annually in April or May, this festival showcases dance performances by young men dressed up in traditional outfits.
    4. Ka Pomblang Nongkrem: Celebrated during autumn months, this festival marks an offering to Goddess Ka Blei Synshar for her blessings.

    Apart from these festivals, other significant events include:

    1. Kongthong Music Festival: This event celebrates traditional music from Meghalaya and takes place annually in March.
    2. Khasi Hills Autumn Festival: This event takes place in November every year and showcases the culture and traditions of Meghalaya.
    3. Cherra Marathon: The Cherra Marathon takes place every year in October-November.

    These festivals and events offer tourists an opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage of Kongthong while participating in vibrant celebrations.

    Tips for Travelers while travelling to Kongthong

    1. Respect the locals: Kongthong is a small village where the Khasi tribe resides. They have their own unique culture and traditions. As a traveler, it is important to respect their beliefs and practices. Observe their customs and etiquette, and always ask for permission before taking photographs of them or their homes.
    2. Pack appropriate clothing: The weather in Kongthong can be unpredictable, so it's best to pack clothes that are suitable for different temperatures. It can get chilly in the evenings, so bring layers. Also, avoid wearing revealing clothing as it may offend the locals.
    3. Plan your trip around festivals: Kongthong hosts several festivals throughout the year, such as the Nongkrem dance festival and Shad Suk Mynsiem. These are great opportunities to witness the Khasi culture in full swing. Plan your trip accordingly to experience these events.
    4. Try local cuisine: Khasi cuisine is simple yet flavorful. Some popular dishes include Jadoh (rice cooked with meat), Tungrymbai (fermented soybean dish), and Doh Khleh (pork salad). Don't hesitate to try these dishes during your stay in Kongthong.
    5. Take care of the environment: The village of Kongthong is known for its pristine natural beauty. As a responsible traveler, it's important to minimize your impact on the environment by avoiding littering or damaging natural habitats. Carry reusable water bottles and avoid using plastic bags when shopping for souvenirs or groceries.

    In conclusion, traveling to Kongthong can be a unique experience that offers an insight into one of India's lesser-known cultures. By respecting local customs, packing appropriately, planning around festivals, trying local cuisine, and taking care of the environment, you can make your trip both enjoyable and sustainable.


    What is Kongthong?

    Kongthong is a small village located in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, India. It is known for its unique tradition of giving musical names to its inhabitants instead of using their original names.

    Why do people in Kongthong have musical names?

    The tradition of giving musical names to children in Kongthong dates back to ancient times. The locals believe that giving a musical name to a child helps them remember their identity and keeps them connected to their roots.

    How are the musical names given in Kongthong?

    The musical names are given by mothers just after the birth of a child. The mother creates a tune that she feels best reflects the personality or traits of her child, and this tune becomes the child's name.

    Are these musical names used in official documents?

    No, these names are not used in official documents like passports or driving licenses. The original name given by the parents is used for official purposes.

    Can outsiders visit Kongthong?

    Yes, outsiders are welcome to visit Kongthong and experience its unique culture. However, it is important to respect the traditions and customs of the locals while visiting.

    What other attractions are there in Kongthong?

    Apart from the musical names tradition, visitors can also explore the natural beauty of Meghalaya by visiting nearby attractions such as Mawlynnong village, Dawki river, and Living Root Bridges.

    Is there any accommodation available in Kongthong?

    There are limited options for accommodation in Kongthong village itself, but visitors can stay at nearby towns like Shillong or Cherrapunji and take day trips to visit Kongthong. Homestays are also available with local families who offer an authentic cultural experience.

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