One of the most vibrant district in Singapore, the Little India. It is located east of the Singapore River—across from Chinatown, located west of the river—and north of Kampong Glam.
There is a huge beautiful peacock sit at the intersection before entering Little India District. Peacocks are often used in Indian folks stories. It symbolize grace, pride and beauty and also sign of joy for all who see them. It is there to welcome visitors who entering Little India District. There are two and you can spot them easily as they are quite huge.
Little India Arcade
Little India Arcade is a collection of conserved shop houses dating from 1913, selling a variety of souvenirs, Indian handicrafts, sarees and goldsmith shops. If you are interested to get some temporary tattoo, the henna tattoo, this is a good place.
The Banana Leaf Apol
The Banana Leaf Apol restaurant is one of the famous around here because even Mel Gibson, the Australian born Hollywood Star has been here for his meal!
You can find variety of fresh Indian ingredients at the Buffalo Road, even the mangoes sold here are coming from India.
Little India was gazetted as a conservation area on 7 July 1989, most of the shop houses still remain as it is but was painted with bright colors. First floor normally open for traditional businesses like goldsmiths, Indian restaurants and coffee shops,saree shops & souvenirs shops. Second floor is more for office and few for residential.
Colorful Cattle Herders
One of my favorite graffiti artwork in alley of Little India. You may not know that Little India once had a racecourse, cattle herders and brick kilns.
Hostels & Backpack in Little India
There is round-the-clock activity from the clusters of night-time hangouts, backpacker hostels and late night eateries in the area.
Little girls with colorful Saree
Little India is also the focal point of Singapore’s Indian community. This is the place for them to get their fresh Indian ingredients, shopping and catch up and exchange news. Look, I was joining them in the line to march into Little India!
House of Tan Teng Niah
House of Tan Teng Niah was built in 1900, and also the last surviving Chinese mansion in Little India. The original mansion was in white but the colors were added recently. The colorful house is located along Kerbau Road.
Who is Tan Teng Niah? He is a successful businessman who owned a confectionery business, he built this mansion for his wife. It is now used as a training office.
Not only in Kampong Glam, you can find many beautiful graffiti arts in Little India too.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
This temple is one of the oldest temple and built by the pioneers who first came to work in Singapore. The temple is located at the Serangoon Road No 141.
You can pay a visit inside the temple but shoes needed to remove before entering the temple. It was full house when I was there on a hot Sunday morning.
The red and white wall is belong to the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.
Kampong Kapor Methodist Church
Not only Indian temple, you do find the first Peranakan Church here in Little India. Kampong Kapor Methodist Church is a Methodist church in Singapore. Formed in 1894, it was one of the first Peranakan churches and the fourth Methodist church in Singapore. Located at 1 Kampong Kapor Road.
Abdul Gaffoor Mosque
Not only Indian temple and a Methodist Church can be found in Little India, you also find a mosque here 🙂 This old mosque was first build in 1907, a long time ago. On top of the mosque you can see many minarets crowned with onion-shaped domes with a crescent moon and a star at the pinnacle. Really beautiful and colorful mosque. Don’t miss this beautiful mosque if you happen to drop by in Little India. Located at 41 Dunlop Street.
Umbrella Trees in Little India
These installations are based on the designs by Ms Marthalia Budiman. The colorful installation, which takes the form of a superlative tree with umbrellas as branches and leaves which make the neighborhood quite artistic.
Little India is rich in architecture, culture and history. It is also known as “Tekka” in Hokkien, literally meaning “foot of the small bamboos” because bamboo plants once grew on the banks at Rochor Canal nearby.
This 24 hours shopping arcade is so popular among tourists. In fact many of my friends from overseas asked to shop at Mustafa. It has stuff for everyone and few floors under one roof. Mustafa started out as a family’s stall at first and then turn into huge departmental store now. The guy behind the multi million business is Mustaq Ahmad, Forbes ranked him Number 37 in their list of Singapore’s 40 Richest People.
The Mustafa Centre is famous for its electronic goods and household appliances, it also has huge range of jewelry shops. If you want some cheap travel package, compare and explore here! If you are tired and get hungry of all the shopping, try out nice Indian food located on the rooftop. If you want to avoid the crowd, you can also plan to come here after midnight 🙂
My advise to ladies is don’t walk alone in Desker Road as it is the red light district.
What to eat in Little India?
If you are too tired and thirsty after all the walk under the hot sun, why not get a fresh coconut which cost around SGD$ 2.2, it really quenches my thirst though.
Roti Prata vs Roti Canai
Singaporean called it Roti Prata or Malaysian called it Roti Canai. I find the only difference is Roti Prata is smaller than the Malaysia Roti Canai. May be flour is more expensive in Singapore? It goes very well with the curry but very high calories, about 497 calories (one egg and one plain). Little India is the place to have your cheat meal, Roti Prata.
Respect the Cow in Hindu Tradition
Colorful cows everywhere in one of the park, Indian men sitting under the tree playing with their hand phone or chatting with each other. In the Hindu tradition, the cow is honored so you could see cow graffiti and now colorful cow statues at the park in Little India. This is another piece of work of Ms Marthalia Budiman.
More of colorful architecture and buildings in little India, Workhouse at one of the corner of Little India, Workhouse is share office building. You can even rent the office space for as low as SGD$40 per day.
ACE Crew KTV
Dim Sum Haus
If you want some Chinese or Hong Kong Dim Sum instead, you can always walk to Jalan Besar, no 57. Dim Sum Haus serves one of the best dim sum in town.
Takeaway the pastries and it tasted so yummy! Will I go back? Definitely yes! For more of the steam dim sum such as har gao & siew mai & their mouth watering carrot cake!!
How to get there?
The North-East MRT line’s Little India and Farrer Park stations, near Serangoon Road, are convenient entry points into the area.
A Sunday morning stroll in “Little India” Singapore – Summary
- Little India Arcade
- The Banana Leaf Apol
- Buffalo Road
- Hostels & Backpack in Little India
- Colorful House of Tan Teng Niah in Little India
- Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
- Kampong Kapor Methodist Church
- Abdul Gaffoor Mosque
- Antique shops in Little India
- Umbrella Trees in Little India
- 24 hours Mustafa Centre
- Desker Road
- What to eat in Little India?
- Roti Prata vs Roti Canai
- Respect the Cow in Hindu Tradition
- ACE Crew KTV
- Dim Sum Haus at 57 Jalan Besar
Click on other places of interest in Singapore
- National Art Gallery Singapore
- Asian Civilization Museum
- Fort Canning
- Bra Basah
- Kampong Glam
- Garden By The Bay
- Haw Par Villa
Click here to purchase the walking tour of Gem of Little India