A cacophony of car horns, bicycle bells and vibrant chatter of its residents, Little India is one of the most vibrant and culturally authentic districts of Singapore. Take in the sights, sounds and smell as you immerse yourself in an authentic Indian experience in Singapore.
As its name suggests, Little India is Singapore’s foremost Indian enclave. Its charm lies in the fact that many of olden-day trades can still be found by its roadsides, alleys and back lanes. Fortune-tellers and their parrots, flower vendors selling garlands of jasmine and street-side newspaper vendors are just some of the interesting sights to be found.
Amid the pungent fragrances of spices and blooms is Serangoon Road and its inner lanes like Campbell Lane, Dunlop Street and Hindon Road, look out for stalls selling Ayurvedic massage oils, gold, incense and fabrics in a variety of textures. For a glimpse of Hindu rituals, do stop by the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple, all within the Little India Precinct.
While in this cultural enclave, don’t pass up the opportunity to dine in one of the many well-established restaurants like Komala Villas (vegetarian), Banana Leaf Apolo and Muthu’s Curry, where you’ll find spicy classic South Indian fare inclusive of Fish Head Curry. Or taste some of the best Indian hawker food in Singapore such as roti prata (dough flat bread) and thosai (Indian-styled pancakes) at Tekka Market and Food Centre.
For unique accommodation, stay at Wanderlust, located at 2 Dickson Road. This experimental boutique hotel occupies a building that was originally an old school in the 1920s. Each of the four levels of the hotel is designed by different design firms to create their own contemporary style and comfort. The Daulat at 16 Madras Street, is another interesting boutique hotel and one can also find a variety of backpackers' hostels along the inner lanes of Little India.
No trip to Little India is complete without an all-night shopping spree at the 24-hour emporium, Mustafa Centre, located at the corner of Serangoon and Syed Alwi Roads. Despite its modest exterior, Mustafa Center is a treasure trove of household knick-knacks, decorative items, foodstuff, Indian spices, apparel and textiles, electronic items and more – at some of the lowest fixed prices in Singapore.
Like most areas in Singapore, Little Indiacan easily be explored by foot and accessible by the MRT. Also, you can hop onto SMRT Link, the first regular free shuttle bus service by a public transport operator. A loop service from Dhoby Ghaut MRT station to Little India, SMRT Link operates on weekends and public holidays from 11am to 10pm at a frequency of 8 – 15 minutes.
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