Originally settled by Indian labourers in the late 18th century, Little India has transformed from a district of racehorse tracks and lime pits to a neighbourhood where traditional establishments and century-old temples merge seamlessly with boutique museums and budding art spaces.
Take a walk through this 200-year-old enclave, and be inspired by vibrant culture, traditional aesthetics and the myriad artistic activities on offer.
All venues are near Little India MRT Station
1. Tekka Centre
Grab breakfast at 1 Tekka Centre, and stimulate your senses with some of the best local cuisine that Singapore has to offer. There’s a range of different ethnic cuisines to choose from, but we recommend that you start with uppuma (a porridge made from semolina), roti prata (South Indian flatbread) or dosai (South Indian pancake made out of rice or lentil batter).
2. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Spend the morning at the 2 Sri Veerama-
kaliamman Temple, and soak in the spiritual and historical aesthetics of this century-old place of worship. Built by Indian pioneers in the mid-19th century, this place of worship is dedicated to the ferocious goddess Kali, and is one of Singapore’s oldest Hindu temples.
3. Little India Arcade
Experience a feast of sights, sounds and colours at 3 Little India Arcade. This cluster of wall-to-wall shops sells a plethora of wares, ranging from tapestries to carved trinkets for the budding poet’s writing desk.
4. Indian Heritage Centre
Kindle your passion for history, art and culture at the 4 Indian Heritage Centre, home to a range of permanent and temporary art exhibits from around South Asia. From religious sculptures to South Asian artwork, you’re certain to be inspired by the passionate culture and beautiful art of Singapore’s Indian community. Visitors who’d like to learn a traditional craft under the guidance of experts and master craftsmen should sign up for one of the many workshops on offer at this venue.
5. Museum of Independent Music Singapore
If music is a big part of your creative process, you may want to pay a visit to the 5 Museum of Independent Music Singapore. The boutique museum pays tribute to the DIY spirit of Singapore’s indie music pioneers, and is home to a range of touring memorabilia. Peruse the charming visuals on display, from the artwork on the dustcovers of old vinyl records to homemade posters of local talent.
6. A Living Heritage Museum
Drop by 6 A Living Heritage Museum, and learn about the stories of grit and passion exhibited by Singapore’s pioneers. On display at the museum is a fascinating permanent exhibition of more than 300 tools used by labourers in Singapore from the 1940s-60s, ranging from cargo hooks to bicycle oil lamps.
7. Dim Sum Haus
Break for lunch at 7 Dim Sum Haus, a cosy food establishment that serves up quality dim sum (bite-sized portions of food served in steamer baskets or on small plates) made to order. There’s a wide selection of bite-sized delights to be had, but crowd favourites include their roast meats, steamed pork ribs with yam and salted egg custard buns.
8. Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity
Embody your inner Marlon Brando, and learn the nuances of method acting at the 8 Haque Centre of Acting & Creativity. School founder Kamil Haque learned his craft at the world-renown Actor’s Studio in Los Angeles, and both trained and coached at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Sign up for one of the many acting workshops on offer and learn how to express your inner creativity through the nuances of movement and body language.
9. Mud Rock Ceramics
End the day off with a visit to 9 Mud Rock Ceramics, an establishment founded by pottery lovers Ng Seok Har and Michelle Lim. Fuelled by their love for the endless possibilities of the potter’s craft, the pair set up Mud Rock Ceramics to provide beautiful, functional wares for the masses. The studio has crafted a range of wares for globally recognised brands like Gucci and Chanel, and stocks a range of beautiful ceramics. Workshops are held on a regular basis, and aspiring artisans looking to expand their range of creative tools should certainly sign up.