Age-old tradition and trendy new haunts come together in an intoxicating blend on the colourful streets of Little India in Singapore.
More than just a district steeped in history, Little India is a feast for the senses, where tradition and novel experiences intermingle in an intoxicating blend.
Formerly home to cattle herders, lime kilns and a race course, this colourful neighbourhood has evolved over the centuries into a beloved destination for locals and travellers alike.
A taste of tradition
Little India today is one of Singapore’s most vibrant districts, with a fascinating past that stretches back to the 19th century.
Serangoon Road —the historic heart of the district— was once called Soonambu Kamban (Village of Lime in Tamil) for its lime pits. Over the decades, the district evolved into an area of commerce, with rattan works, wheat-grinding sheds and pineapple factories emerging alongside cattle trade.
As you walk through this bustling neighbourhood, you’ll find places of worship with beautiful architecture and interiors, from the Corinthian pillars of the Abdul Gafoor Mosque to the fifteen-metre-tall Buddha statue in the Temple of a Thousand Lights.
Of particular note is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Built by Indian pioneers in the 19th century, the temple is dedicated to the worship of the fearsome goddess Kali and is home to statues that date back to the 1930s.
A feast for the senses
A world of sights, sounds and tastes await travellers as they explore Little India’s myriad attractions.
Foodies will find a melting pot of traditional flavours at restaurants like Indian Express and Bismillah Biryani. Gourmands in the search of bold new flavours should also check out The Malayan Council, Old Hen Coffee Bar and The Whisky Library & Jazz Club.
If you’re in the mood for a shopping spree, you’ll find wondrous wares — from sweets and spices to jewellery— at the Little India Arcade, while 24-hour shopping mall Mustafa Centre offers everything from electronics to groceries.