Little India Guide

Why to Visit Little India?

Little India is a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood in Singapore that offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors. Stepping into Little India feels like entering a different world, with its bustling streets, colorful facades, and a distinct Indian atmosphere.

This lively district is known for its vibrant markets, traditional shops, and authentic Indian eateries. Serangoon Road, the main thoroughfare, is lined with shops selling intricate textiles, ornate jewelry, aromatic spices, and traditional Indian garments. Visitors can wander through the bustling streets, explore the various stores, and indulge in the rich aromas and flavors of Indian cuisine.

The focal point of Little India is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, a stunning Hindu temple dedicated to the goddess Kali. Its intricate architecture and vibrant sculptures make it a must-visit cultural landmark. Another notable attraction is the Mustafa Centre, a 24-hour shopping complex that offers an extensive range of products, from electronics to groceries, attracting shoppers from all walks of life.

Little India is also known for its colorful festivals and celebrations. During Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, the entire district comes alive with vibrant decorations, music, and cultural performances. Visitors can immerse themselves in the festivities, witness traditional rituals, and experience the warmth and joy of the celebrations.

Apart from its cultural significance, Little India also showcases the harmonious coexistence of different cultures in Singapore. Mosques, churches, and Buddhist temples can be found alongside Hindu temples, reflecting the diversity of religious beliefs in the neighborhood.

In summary, a visit to Little India is a sensory journey that offers a glimpse into the rich Indian culture, traditions, and flavors. It is a vibrant and colorful neighborhood that captivates visitors with its bustling markets, authentic cuisine, and cultural landmarks, providing a truly memorable experience in the heart of Singapore.

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Things to Do at Little India Singapore

Seek Blessings at Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, located on Serangoon Road in Little India, is a magnificent Hindu temple that dates back to the 19th century. A popular destination among Hindu devotees and tourists alike, the temple is known for its vibrant exterior adorned with hundreds of colorful figurines. The temple's interior is equally impressive, featuring flamboyant murals at every turn. The main deities worshiped at Sri Veeramakaliamman are Sri Veeramakaliamman, Ganesha, Murugan, Durgai & Madurai Veeran, with several smaller shrines also present on the premises. The temple hosts numerous Hindu festivals throughout the year, making it an ideal destination to visit during Navratri or Pongal. In addition to its religious significance, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is also a popular photo spot, with its unique architecture and colorful decor making it a standout attraction in Little India Singapore.

Get to Know Indian Culture at Indian Heritage Center

If you're visiting Singapore, Little India is a must-see destination, especially if you want to delve into the country's Indian heritage. The Indian Heritage Centre is an impressive modern building that stands out amidst the vibrant, colorful shops in Little India. Its unique architecture, inspired by an Indian stepwell, is worth admiring from the outside alone.

Inside, the museum houses exhibits and artifacts spanning four floors, showcasing the historical relationship between India and Southeast Asia from the 1st century to the present day. It's an ideal starting point to explore Little India or take a break from the sweltering heat on a hot day. The centre's displays offer fascinating insights into the Indian community's journey and their contribution to Singapore's rich cultural tapestry.

Take Selfies With The Murals In Little India

Little India Singapore is a vibrant and colorful neighborhood that boasts an array of impressive murals, painted by locals. These murals showcase everyday life and the area's rich history, making them prominent landmarks in the precinct. The murals' names are unique, such as "Alive@Clive," "Jasmine Flower," "Trishaw Man & Samsui Woman," "Kathaka," and "Loops of the Precious." Exploring the murals is a must-do activity for anyone who loves taking photos and immersing themselves in local culture. Each mural is a work of art that adds to the already vibrant atmosphere of Little India

Pay a Visit to Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

The Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Little India, Singapore is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Hindu temples. Although it may appear like any other Hindu temple in Singapore to the untrained eye, it is a masterpiece of South Indian temple architecture. The temple entrance walls are adorned with sculptures of various deities, and it is filled with art and murals, making it a sight to behold.

One of the most distinct features of the temple is its six-tiered 'gopuram' which was added during a refurbishment in the 1960s. The 20-meter-high gopuram is decorated with sculptures depicting Lord Vishnu's various forms. When you step into the temple yard, you will notice a well that used to be a stream that provided water to the worshippers. A visit to Little India would not be complete without touring this magnificent temple, which is an important cultural and religious center in the area.

Shopping at Mustafa Center

Mustafa Center in Little India, Singapore, offers an unparalleled shopping experience for avid shoppers. With its 24-hour operation, it caters to all shopping enthusiasts, providing a wide range of designer goods at affordable prices. The center boasts a diverse selection, encompassing everything from fabrics to watches and gadgets, making it a shopper's paradise.

Unlike traditional shopping malls, Mustafa Center adopts a unique concept, resembling an indoor market with its numerous shops and outlets. Navigating through its narrow aisles, visitors can explore a myriad of goods from various brands and labels, creating a bustling and vibrant atmosphere.

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Take Photos at Tan Teng Niah House

Tan Teng Niah's House is a charming two-story residence constructed in 1900, situated on Kerbau Road in the vibrant neighborhood of Little India, Singapore. This house stands out with its vibrant colors, serving as a striking example of a Chinese dwelling from Singapore's colonial era.

The responsibility for maintaining and preserving the House of Tan Teng Niah lies with the local community, who have ensured that its rainbow hues remain intact throughout the years. While the interiors are not accessible to the public, the exterior of the house is a delightful sight and a favorite spot for photography enthusiasts. Visitors can capture the vivid colors and unique architectural features of the house, making it a popular attraction for budget travelers seeking memorable experiences in Little India.

Places to Eat in Little India Singapore

Greenleaf Cafe

Green Leaf Cafe's success lies in its meticulous selection of spices, carefully chosen to enhance the delectable flavors and aromas of their cuisine. This charming eatery in Little India Singapore has gained popularity for its relaxed and family-friendly ambiance, exceptional service, and mouthwatering meals.

At Green Leaf Cafe, you can experience the authentic flavors of home-cooked South Indian cuisine. The chefs take pride in using fresh and juicy ingredients that elevate every dish to new heights. From aromatic curries to flavorful dosas and biryanis, the menu offers a diverse range of traditional South Indian delicacies.

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Aromas of India

Aromas of India is a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic North Indian culinary experience. This restaurant is a haven for food enthusiasts, dedicated to serving the finest and most genuine Indian cuisine.

The tantalizing aromas of freshly roasted meats infused with aromatic spices will captivate your senses and leave you craving for more. The menu offers a diverse range of options, including an exclusive selection of vegetarian dishes that showcase the true essence of Indian gastronomy.

Aromas of India guarantees a memorable dining experience that will have you coming back for seconds. The restaurant's vibrant and welcoming atmosphere creates a family-friendly ambiance during the day, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a delicious meal. As the sun sets, Aromas of India transforms into an elegant pub, providing a sophisticated setting for evening gatherings and celebrations.

Gayatri Restaurant

Gayatri Restaurant, an iconic establishment on Race Course Road, has established itself as the epitome of authentic Indian cuisine in Little India, Singapore. With a remarkable 20-year legacy, Gayatri Restaurant continues to entice visitors with its exceptional culinary offerings.

Step into Gayatri Restaurant and be greeted by a symphony of aromatic flavors that mirror the diverse culinary landscape of India. The tantalizing dishes served here capture the essence of India's rich cultural heritage. Each bite is an exploration of authentic Indian flavors, with hints of smokiness and alluring aromas that transport diners to the heart of India.

Komala Villas Restaurant

Established in 1947, Komala Villas Restaurant is a renowned Indian eatery located in Little India, Singapore. This restaurant stands out as a top culinary destination, particularly for those seeking authentic vegetarian cuisine and a taste of Tanjore District, Tamil Nadu, and South Indian flavors.

As you step into Komala Villas Restaurant, you'll be transported back in time, immersing yourself in the rich culinary heritage of the region. The restaurant has been diligently preserving traditional recipes and cooking techniques, ensuring that each dish reflects the true essence of South Indian cuisine.

Khansama Tandoori Restaurant

Established in 1999, Khansama Tandoori Restaurant has earned a well-deserved reputation as Singapore's finest North Indian Tandoori dining destination. Renowned for its exceptional service and delightful atmosphere, this restaurant offers a memorable culinary experience.

Guests have the option to enjoy their meals in the inviting outdoor seating area, immersing themselves in the vibrant ambiance of Little India Singapore. The restaurant buzzes with activity, creating a lively and enjoyable dining environment.

The menu at Khansama Tandoori Restaurant is a true delight for food enthusiasts. Among its standout dishes, the butter chicken holds a special place, captivating diners with its delectable flavors. Tender fillers are immersed in a rich, colorful, and aromatic gravy, creating a taste sensation that leaves a lasting impression.

Mustard Restaurant

Born out of their passion for creating delightful dining experiences, Shilpa Sharma and Poonam Singh have embarked on a culinary journey with Mustard Restaurant in Little India, Singapore. Drawing from their successful backgrounds in retail and hospitality, they have crafted a unique dining establishment that seamlessly blends the coastal flavors of the east with the rustic charm of the north.

At Mustard, guests are treated to a diverse menu that showcases the best of both worlds. The tantalizing aromas of savory kebabs and flavorful sauces from the northern region infuse the carefully curated selection of dishes. From delectable fish and meats to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, there is something to satisfy every palate and cater to different dietary preferences.

Places to Shop at Little India Singapore

Here are some popular places to shop in Little India, Singapore:

  • Mustafa Centre: This 24-hour shopping complex offers a wide range of products, including electronics, clothing, cosmetics, household items, and groceries. It's a one-stop destination for all your shopping needs.
  • Tekka Centre: Located on Serangoon Road, Tekka Centre is a bustling market and hawker center. You can find a variety of fresh produce, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, and traditional clothing at affordable prices.
  • Little India Arcade: Situated on Campbell Lane, this vibrant shopping arcade is filled with small shops selling Indian handicrafts, jewelry, traditional garments, souvenirs, and trinkets. It's a great place to find unique gifts and mementos.
  • Serangoon Plaza: Known for its textile shops, Serangoon Plaza offers a wide selection of fabrics, including silk, cotton, and traditional Indian textiles. You can also find tailors and alteration services here.
  • Sim Lim Square: While not located directly in Little India, Sim Lim Square is a nearby electronics mall where you can find a wide range of gadgets, computers, cameras, and accessories. It's worth a visit if you're looking for electronic goods.
  • The Verge: Formerly known as Tekka Mall, The Verge is a shopping mall with a mix of retail stores, restaurants, and a supermarket. It offers a variety of products, including clothing, accessories, electronics, and household items.
  • Campbell Lane: This narrow street is lined with shops selling traditional Indian clothing, accessories, jewelry, and handicrafts. It's a great place to explore and find unique items.

Remember to explore the smaller shops and street-side vendors in Little India as well, as they often offer authentic and affordable products. Bargaining is common in many stores, so feel free to negotiate for the best prices.

Know Before You Go

How to Reach
Best Time to Visit
Tips to Visit

Little India in Singapore is easily accessible by various modes of transportation. Here are some common ways to reach Little India:

  • MRT (Mass Rapid Transit): Take the MRT and alight at the Little India MRT station, which is conveniently located in the heart of the neighborhood. Little India is served by the Downtown Line (DT12) and the North East Line (NE7). Follow the signs within the station to reach the main area of Little India.
  • Bus: There are several bus routes that pass through Little India, making it easily accessible from different parts of Singapore. Check the local bus schedules and routes to find the most convenient option for you.
  • Taxi/Grab: Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab are widely available in Singapore. Simply book a taxi or use the Grab app to request a ride to Little India. It's a popular destination, so most drivers will be familiar with the area.
  • Walking: Depending on your location, you may also choose to walk to Little India if you're staying nearby. It can be a pleasant and convenient option if you're in the vicinity and enjoy exploring on foot.

Little India in Singapore is bustling and vibrant throughout the year, but there are certain times that offer unique experiences and special events. Here are some factors to consider when deciding the best time to visit Little India:

  • Festivals and Celebrations: Little India comes alive during major Indian festivals like Deepavali (Diwali) and Thaipusam. These festivals showcase colorful decorations, cultural performances, and traditional rituals, providing a captivating and immersive experience. If you want to witness the vibrant festivities, plan your visit around these festival periods.
  • Weather: Singapore has a tropical climate, with high humidity and consistent temperatures year-round. It's important to consider the weather when planning your visit. If you prefer milder temperatures, the cooler and drier months from December to February may be more comfortable for exploring the streets of Little India.
  • Weekdays vs. Weekends: Little India can be busier on weekends, as both locals and tourists flock to the area. If you prefer a more relaxed and less crowded experience, consider visiting on weekdays when foot traffic is usually lower.
  • Food and Shopping: Little India's markets, shops, and eateries are open daily, offering a wide variety of Indian cuisine, spices, textiles, and souvenirs. Whether you're seeking authentic street food or browsing through traditional goods, you can enjoy these experiences any day of the week.

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To make the most of your visit to Little India, consider the following tips for a fulfilling excursion:

  • Start early in the morning to visit the temples, churches, and mosques when they are less crowded and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
  • Take a break for lunch in the afternoon at one of the local eateries to savor authentic Indian cuisine.
  • Embark on a shopping spree in the vibrant streets of Little India. Remember to bargain at most shops, except brand outlets, to get the best deals.
  • Explore the narrow lanes and roadside stalls to discover unique handicrafts, textiles, spices, and traditional Indian garments.
  • Engage with the locals and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere and cultural diversity of the neighborhood.
  • Consider visiting the Mustafa Center if you haven't finished shopping and it's getting late. This 24-hour shopping complex offers a wide range of products from electronics to groceries.
  • Capture the vibrant colors and lively scenes through your camera lens, but be mindful of local customs and seek permission before photographing people or religious sites.
  • Sample the local street food, such as dosas, vadai, and biryanis, for an authentic culinary experience.
  • Take your time to explore the various cultural landmarks, including the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and the beautifully adorned streets during festive seasons like Diwali.
  • Finally, embrace the lively spirit of Little India and enjoy the diverse cultural experiences it has to offer.

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What are the must-visit temples or religious sites in Little India?

  • In Little India, Singapore, there are several must-visit temples and religious sites that offer a glimpse into the rich cultural and religious heritage. Here are some notable ones:
  • Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple: Dedicated to the goddess Kali, this colorful and ornate Hindu temple is one of the oldest in Singapore. It is known for its stunning architecture and intricate sculptures.
  • Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple: This Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and is an important religious site for the Tamil community. It features beautiful Dravidian-style architecture and hosts various festivals and ceremonies throughout the year.
  • Abdul Gafoor Mosque: A distinctive mosque with a blend of Indian and Islamic architectural styles, Abdul Gafoor Mosque is known for its intricate designs, vibrant colors, and minaret. Visitors can appreciate the peaceful ambiance and learn about Islamic culture.
  • Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple (Temple of 1,000 Lights): This Buddhist temple houses a massive seated Buddha statue, which is one of the largest in Singapore. The interior is adorned with thousands of golden Buddha images, creating a serene atmosphere.
  • Leong San See Temple: Also known as Dragon Mountain Temple, Leong San See is a Taoist temple featuring intricate carvings, beautiful gardens, and vibrant statues. It offers a peaceful sanctuary for worship and reflection.
  • Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple: This South Indian temple is dedicated to the goddess Kali and is known for its colorful entrance tower (gopuram) and intricate sculptures. It provides a glimpse into the rich traditions of the Tamil community.
  • Visiting these temples allows you to experience the vibrant religious practices, architectural beauty, and cultural significance of Little India. Remember to dress respectfully and adhere to any guidelines or customs when entering these sacred places.

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What are some popular street food options to try in Little India?

Little India in Singapore is renowned for its diverse and delicious street food offerings. Here are some popular street food options to try:

  • Roti Prata: A crispy and flaky Indian flatbread served with various curries or as a sweet dessert with condensed milk. It comes in different flavors and can be enjoyed plain or with fillings like egg or cheese.
  • Fish Head Curry: A signature dish in Little India, fish head curry is a flavorful and spicy curry made with fish heads and various spices. It is usually served with rice or bread.
  • Biryani: Fragrant and flavorful, biryani is a spiced rice dish cooked with meat (such as chicken, mutton, or fish), vegetables, and aromatic spices. It is often garnished with fried onions and served with raita (yogurt-based side dish).
  • Dosai: A thin and crispy South Indian crepe made from fermented rice and lentil batter. It is typically served with chutney and sambar (a lentil-based vegetable stew).
  • Masala Thosai: A variation of dosai, masala thosai is stuffed with a spiced potato filling and served with chutney and sambar.
  • Indian Rojak: A popular Indian-Muslim snack, Indian rojak consists of various fried and crispy items like dough fritters, tofu, and boiled potatoes, coated in a sweet and spicy sauce.
  • Pani Puri: Also known as golgappa or puchka, pani puri is a popular Indian street food snack. It consists of crispy hollow puri filled with a mixture of spiced potatoes, chickpeas, and tangy tamarind water.
  • Mutton Soup: A comforting and flavorful soup made with tender mutton, aromatic spices, and herbs. It is often enjoyed with bread or rice.
  • These are just a few of the many street food options you can find in Little India. Explore the bustling streets and vibrant food stalls to discover more culinary delights that will satisfy your taste buds.

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Can you suggest any other nearby attractions or neighborhoods that complement a visit to Little India?

  • When visiting Little India in Singapore, there are several nearby attractions and neighborhoods that complement your experience. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Arab Street and Kampong Glam: Located adjacent to Little India, Arab Street and Kampong Glam offer a vibrant atmosphere with its colorful shophouses, trendy boutiques, and Middle Eastern influences. Explore the iconic Sultan Mosque, browse through unique shops selling textiles, carpets, and traditional Arabic goods, and indulge in delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.
  • Chinatown: A short distance away from Little India, Chinatown is another must-visit neighborhood in Singapore. Immerse yourself in the rich Chinese culture and heritage as you explore the bustling streets, visit ornate temples, sample delectable Chinese cuisine, and shop for souvenirs at the street markets.
  • Gardens by the Bay: Just a short ride from Little India, Gardens by the Bay is a stunning nature park with futuristic Supertrees, flower domes, and lush gardens. It's a great place to unwind, enjoy scenic walks, and marvel at the beautiful flora and iconic architectural structures.
  • National Museum of Singapore: Located near Little India, the National Museum of Singapore is the oldest museum in the country and offers insights into Singapore's history, culture, and heritage. Explore the interactive exhibits, galleries, and special exhibitions to gain a deeper understanding of the city-state.
  • Fort Canning Park: Situated in the heart of Singapore, Fort Canning Park is a historical park with lush greenery, ancient artifacts, and significant landmarks. Take a leisurely stroll through the park, visit the Fort Canning Centre, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance amidst nature.
  • These attractions and neighborhoods are in close proximity to Little India and provide a well-rounded experience of Singapore's diverse cultural heritage. Plan your itinerary accordingly to explore these places and enhance your visit to Little India.

What is unique about Little India, Singapore?

  • Little India in Singapore is a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood that offers a unique and immersive experience. Here are some aspects that make Little India special:
  • Cultural Enclave: Little India showcases the vibrant Indian culture and heritage in Singapore. From colorful buildings and ornate temples to the aroma of Indian spices and the sounds of traditional music, it provides an authentic Indian atmosphere
  • Traditional Architecture: The shophouses and buildings in Little India feature unique and colorful facades with intricate designs. The architecture reflects a blend of Indian and colonial influences, adding to the neighborhood's charm.
  • Temples and Religious Sites: Little India is home to several iconic Hindu temples, such as Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple and Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. These temples are architectural marvels and serve as important religious and cultural landmarks.
  • Shopping and Street Markets: Little India is renowned for its bustling street markets and shops offering a variety of Indian goods. From traditional clothing, textiles, and jewelry to spices, handicrafts, and souvenirs, you can find an array of unique products.
  • Authentic Indian Cuisine: Little India is a haven for food lovers, offering a wide range of authentic Indian cuisine. From local Indian delicacies like dosas and biryanis to regional specialties from different parts of India, the neighborhood is a paradise for food enthusiasts.
  • Festivals and Celebrations: Little India comes alive during Indian festivals such as Deepavali (Diwali) and Thaipusam. The streets are beautifully decorated, and cultural performances, processions, and fireworks add to the festive spirit.
  • Cultural Events and Activities: Little India hosts various cultural events, exhibitions, and performances that showcase Indian arts, music, and dance. Visitors can witness traditional performances, attend workshops, and immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry.

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