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Exploring Little India In Singapore (A Guide)

Little India in Singapore is a vibrant and culturally rich district that offers a unique and immersive experience for locals and tourists alike. Known for its bustling streets, colourful heritage buildings, and aromatic spice shops, Little India is a sensory delight that reflects the diverse heritage of Singapore’s Indian community.

You can explore a myriad of attractions, from historic temples and lively markets to contemporary art galleries and trendy cafes, all while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere that celebrates the traditions and modernity of Indian culture.


Things To Do In Little India Singapore

This enchanting enclave stands as a testament to the multicultural tapestry of Singapore, inviting everyone to partake in its dynamic and colourful spirit.

Little India’s history dates back to the early 19th century when Indian immigrants settled in the area, drawn by employment opportunities provided by the British colonial administration. Initially an enclave for cattle traders and brick kilns, the district evolved into a thriving residential and commercial hub for the Indian community.

The architecture of Little India reflects this rich history, with well-preserved shophouses, temples, and other colonial-era buildings that tell the story of its development over the decades.

The place now stands as a flourishing cultural hub and cherishes Indian traditions, drawing in both tourists and locals who seek an authentic taste of Indian culture.

There are some great hotels in Little India, or nearby the area, that make it convenient and comfortable to be there for exploring around. In fact, whenever I visit Singapore I always stay in Little India!

Whether you are looking for a plate full of biryani, beautiful traditional sari shops, the Singapore Indian community, or some of the best accommodations in Singapore, the place has it all.

Set along Serangoon Road, Little India, once known as “The Road Leading across the Island,” is a must-visit destination on any visit to the country.

Here are some of the best things to do in Little India in Singapore.


Visit a Temple on Serangoon Road

Make a stop by Serangoon Road and pay a visit to Srinivasa Perumal Temple and the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Walk through the manifold religious institutions in the district and take in the views of beautiful architecture. 

Drop by the Indian Heritage Center

Close to the Little India Arcade right on Campbell Lane stands a 4-story modern Indian Heritage Centre (IHC) along with its baoli-inspired exterior.

Celebrating the diverse history of Singapore’s Indian community, this heritage centre is a hub of interactive exhibits, memorabilia, and more than 440 artefacts. As Deepavali arrives, this centre offers multifaceted activities for kids.  

The Theatre Practice

The Theater Practice, housed in a distinctive blue and white shophouse on Waterloo Street, stands as the oldest bilingual professional theatre company. This venue showcases a rich mix of cultures through its Mandarin and English productions.

Besides enjoying a range of performances, visitors have the opportunity to host their own shows in the black box theatre or visit the Practice Tuckshop to explore a selection of books.


What To Eat

Little India has an array of South and North Indian meals with non-vegetarian, vegetarian, and not to mention, Jain Food options. We have enlisted the best three places from where you can fuel your tummy.

Azmi Restaurant

Imagine craving chapatis, and Azmi Restaurant immediately comes to mind. Known affectionately as Norris Road Chapati, this spot is celebrated for its chapatis and best-selling flatbreads, perfectly complemented by savoury beef Keema. With outdoor seating available, you’re also tempted by other delicious options such as biryani, pulao, paneer, and butter chicken.

Khansana Tandoori Restaurant

Famous for its lip-smacking North Indian meal, Khansama is a top favourite among visitors as well as one of the busiest restaurants, especially in the evening. There’s also a second location set in Science Park where you can have succulent kebabs. 

Jaggi’s

Jaggi’s is an Indian food establishment set on 36 Race Course Road, pulling in a large crowd and famous for home-style Punjabi meals. Try out mutton curry, tikkas, Punjabi kadhi dhal (yoghurt curry paired with lentil dumplings), and kulchas, a stuffed bread.


Where To Shop

To save you the hassle of searching, here’s a curated list of the top 3 shops in this lively neighbourhood, ensuring you don’t miss out on the best shopping experiences available.

Mustafa Center

Head over to Mustafa Centre, an all-encompassing department store where you can find virtually anything you’re looking for. This essential destination boasts an extensive selection of items, including electronics, beauty products, dates, dry fruits, Bob’s Red Mill organic products, spices, baking essentials, fresh produce, and frozen fruits.

But that’s not all; you’ll also discover sportswear, saree fabrics, and even London souvenirs among its vast offerings. Mustafa Centre truly is a one-stop shop for all your needs.

The Kam Leng Hotel is a 10-minute walk from Mustafa Center which makes it a good option to stay at in the area.

Tekka Centre (Tekka Market)

A 10-minute walk from Mustafa Center, you will arrive at one of the largest wet markets in Little India, Tekka Center, adjoining a food centre that now serves as a hawker centre.

Head upstairs for a variety of Indian clothes, then downstairs to grab freshly grated coconut, bean sprouts, fruits and vegetables, and bean curd, you can also visit Osman’s meat shop if you are looking to buy meat or mutton, one of the most popular meat shops here.

City Square Mall

City Square Mall has it all, from Decathlon to Starbucks, McDonald’s to Challenger. This eco-friendly mall offers free playgrounds with inclusive amenities like swings, climbing nets, and wheelchair-accessible features, ensuring everyone can enjoy their visit.


Singapore

Little India in Singapore is more than just a district; it is a living tapestry of history, culture, and community. As a dynamic blend of the old and the new, it continues to be a cherished and essential part of the city-state’s identity, welcoming visitors to discover and celebrate its enduring charm and cultural richness.

Be sure to visit this place when in Singapore to get a different feel for the country that you won’t find in other areas.

For more on the country have a look at how to spend one day in Singapore.


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