A bustling historic neighborhood that showcases the culture of Singapore’s Indian community, Little India is quite a compact area, meaning that it is extremely easy to fully explore it on foot. From Hindu temples to authentic South Indian cuisine to colorful stores and roadside shops, Little India is a great way to soak up a part of Singapore’s multi-ethnic culture.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
The Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is an iconic landmark that lies at the heart of Little India and is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Singapore. Dating back to the 19th century, the temple has been renovated and restored over the years and features spectacularly intricate details and statues.
Temple of Thousand Lights
Another temple in Little India worth visiting is the Temple of Thousand Lights, which is a Buddhist temple that attracts a large number of tourists each year. The main reason for this is due to the massive Buddha statue that lives right in the middle of the temple, as well as the image of the reclining Buddha that lies just behind.
This huge, 24-hour shopping center is another one of Little India’s icons, with locals flocking here from all over the country, as it sells just about everything that you could imagine, which accounts to around 300,000 different items, all under one roof. While it may seem slightly disorganized and chaotic, the overall experience would definitely remind you of a high-end shopping mall in India.
Serangoon Road is a major part of Little India, and is best explored by simply strolling through the streets. From colorful garlands hanging outside the cramped roadside shops to the scent of incense wafting past your nose at every corner, the authentic charm here will no doubt captivate you.
The largest wet market in Singapore, Tekka Market is completely unlike the polished, air-conditioned malls that can be found all across the country. Instead, this market is a throwback to old-fashioned commerce, filled with bustling stalls, shouting vendors, and products that are difficult to find elsewhere in the country.
South Indian Cuisine
The traditional South Indian restaurants that can be found in Little India are one of its biggest draws, and once you sit down to taste their food, you will understand why. The Ananda Bhavan Restaurant is the longest running vegetarian eatery in Singapore, while Komala Villas is another popular spot that also specializes in vegetarian cuisine. For those who are not too familiar with the items on the menus, some of the must-try dishes include a crispy dosa with chutney, fluffy idlis, and soft, steaming rotis.
Little India has experienced quite the tumultuous history, from being occupied by Europeans, to taken over by Indian traders, before turning into the vibrant district that locals know and love today. A visit to Little India is one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with an important part of Singapore’s culture, and since it is so compact, it is easy to see everything in a single afternoon.