Singapore is one of the ultra-modern cities in the world, which has some of the most luxurious buildings, stylish neighborhoods, and marvelous landmarks. However, with all its glitz and glamour, Singapore is also home to little pockets of ethnicities that preserve the different cultures of the place. Little India is one such example.
Located in Serangoon Road, Little India is a historical district that showcases the life and heritage of Indians, especially Tamilians, who came to Singapore in the 19th century. This ethnic enclave is India in a nutshell, with all its sounds, colors, smells, and flavors rounded into one place. If you visit Singapore, Little India is a place you must definitely visit. Ensure that you have a valid Singapore visa before you visit Singapore and check out the the best things to do in Little India.
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple:
One of the oldest Hindu temples of Singapore, the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is also one of the most iconic structure of Little India. Built in the 19th century in colonial Singapore, this temple is dedicated to the Goddess Kali. Once a refuge and comfort to migrants from South India, today this temple is an epitome of spectacular architecture and carvings. It is a must to visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple when in Singapore.
Indian Heritage Centre:
If you are interested to learn about India and its culture and heritage, the Indian Heritage Centre at Little India is the perfect place to visit. The glass structure holds both permanent and special exhibitions and gives you a glimpse of not just Indian culture but how the Indian community molded the history of Singapore. It is an interactive museum where you would learn about India in an interesting way.
Little India Arcade:
Shopping is one of the best things to do in Little India, and there is no better place than Little India Arcade for the same. A neo-classical building painted in orange and white, Little India Arcade is where you can shop for everything from flowers to clothes. As you walk around the arcade, you would find shops selling Indian sweets and savories, colorful flowers, silk and printed saris, spices, herbs, and souvenir items. You can also get your hands painted with henna here.
Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple:
Built in the 19th century, the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple is considered to be the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple is quite famous for its beautiful mandalas and carvings. However, the most popular thing about this temple is that the Thaipusam festival, dedicated to Lord Murugan, is held here every year in January. The sight of devotees piercing their body with sharp objects and steel rods is something you must see to believe.
The Banana Leaf Apolo:
A visit to Little India would not be complete without indulging in a meal of delicious Indian food. While there are several good restaurants in the area, the most popular is the Banana Leaf. Serving both South Indian and North Indian dishes, the specialty of this restaurant is that food is served not in plates but in banana leaves. The star dish of the Banana Lead Apolo is the fish head curry, while the chicken dum biriyani and mutton curry are also great.
House of Tan Teng Niah:
A traditional Chinese villa, House of Tan Teng Niah is known as the most colorful building in Singapore. The house belonged to a Chinese businessman named Tan Teng Niah, who built this house for his beloved wife. While the colors are Indian, the architecture of the building with its tilted roof, swinging door and windows is entirely Chinese. Although you would not be able to see inside the building, the outside of House of Tan Teng Niah is a sight to behold.
If you want to indulge in some delicious Indian and Chinese cuisines without spending too much money, the Tekka Centre in Little India is the place you must visit. A hawker center, the place is home to numerous stalls of delicious foods. Apart from the food, the place also has a wet market, where you can buy everything from fresh fruits to seafood. The place also has a shopping center, where you can buy traditional Indian clothes, souvenirs, etc. at reasonable prices.
If you want to try authentic South Indian food in Singapore, there is no better place than Komala Vilas for the same. Established in 1947, this restaurant is Singapore’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. While the restaurant is most popular for its South Indian fare, a few North Indian dishes have also been added to the menu. The main attraction of this restaurant is that it sticks to its original recipes inspired from the cooking traditions of Tanjore.
Few other places that you must visit in Singapore’s Little India are Abdul Gaffoor Mosque, the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, and the Mustafa Centre. Whichever section of Little India you would visit, you would be able to experience the essence of India here.