Little India

Image of Little IndiaLittle India is one of Singapore's most colorful districts spreading out along Serangoon Rd, populated by the descendants of the Indians who arrived in Singapore in the mid 1800’s.

The first Indian settlers in Singapore arrived with Sir Stamford Raffles as assistants and soldiers back in 1819. It is a place where you can get your future told by a parrot while sipping a teh tarik. (The parrot pecks out the cards and the teh is a hand pulled cup of tea). North from Fort Canning Park you soon enter Little India, whose main drag - Serangoon Road - is around fifteen minutes' walk from Raffles Hotel.  Ten minutes southeast from Little India, Singapore's traditional Arab Quarter squats at the intersection of North Bridge Road and Arab Street.

Today, Little India is the focal point of Singapore's Indian community. Hundreds of Indians assemble on Serangoon Road on Saturdays to share the news received from 'home'. The crush has become so dense that the police create temporary passages through the crowds to let pedestrians and shoppers through. During Deepavali, the Indian Festival of Lights, Little India is transformed into a fairyland of gaily decorated, brightly lit streets bustling with shoppers.

In Little India, spice-scented streets beckon you to a treasure trove of silverware, brassware, ethnic jewelry, jasmine garlands and silk saris. In flower shops, watch garland makers creating beautiful flower leis or have your hands painted in traditional henna designs. From the large Tekka Centre (also called the Zhujiao Centre) to the small provision shops, Little India is packed with interesting things to discover.

Don't miss the Little India Cultural Corner (next to the food court in the Little India Arcade) which transports you back in time through an archival display. There's also a striking display of traditional Indian items and story signs which brings to life the rich symbolism and use of these items.

Abdul Gaffoor Mosque is one of Little India’s main attractions, as it welcomes visitors to come and see it. The best temples are Veeramakaliammam, Sri Srinivasa Perumal and the glitzy Temple of 1000 Lights.

Follow your nose to excellent restaurants in Little India serving North and South Indian cuisine. For the more adventurous, eat a South Indian rice meal with your fingers off a banana leaf at The Banana Leaf Apolo Restaurant or Muthu's Curry Restaurant along Race Course Road.

Getting There: From Orchard Road, take SBS bus 64, 65, or 111 to Serangoon Road.

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