Little India Singapore


Visiting Little India
Little India that is nestled at the eastern side of the Singapore River is actually one of the favorite tourist sites of the people who belong to India as it has made the effort to retain the cultural elements of India. Singapore is a potpourri of various cultures. Located in a corner of this bustling country is Little India, an ethnic Indian locality which is a perfect reflection of the lifestyle, rituals and culture of the subcontinent. Here, you can see everything which is characteristic of India, the yummy spicy food, temples dedicated to Indian Gods, traditional dresses, Indian jewelry, flower shops with typical Indian garlands, vegetables, spices, paan shops, Indian movie songs blaring loudly and lots of friendly Indian people. During Indian festivals such as Diwali, the entire community is decked up with flowers and lights and is a treat to experience. How did this little community come into being? Who were the first settlers? What are the delights which you can discover here? Read on below to learn more about this colorful corner of Singapore. Click here for Photo Gallery

How did the settlement come into being?
The history of Little India dates back to the 1800s when a number of Indians were brought to Singapore by the British to serve as laborers. When the British let the Indians off, many of them decided to stay back and start a fresh life. They found a perfect place near the Serangoon River where they could raise poultry and earn a livelihood. Over years, many more Indians happened to come to Singapore, some as laborers and some on their own will. They found a home away from home in Little India and the community grew. These settlers played a very important part in the quickly developing Singapore by participating in building civil infrastructure. Most of the Indians who live here are Tamilians. It connects the Bukit Timah Sungei Road and the Rochor Canal Road and the Petain Road of Little India that got built in the year 1916 has been named after Henri Petain (a renowned French Marshal). If you look into the history of Little India, you would be aware of the fact that it was previously established as a settlement primarily for the convicts. Since it was nestled near the Serangoon River, the local residents of Singapore found this place to be aptly suited for trade related to livestock and cattle raising purposes. Towards the beginning of the 20th century this area got developed and adopted a new look in the sense that it acquired the appearance of an area that was Indian in every way.

The uniqueness of Little India

Despite being very much a part of Singapore, Little India is unique in itself. Firstly, one of the most characteristic sights of Singapore- the towering skyscrapers, are very few in number in Little India. Secondly, there is no other part in Singapore which is as colorful as Little India. The brightly colored clothes worn by the Indians add a new dimension to the place. Thirdly, this place looks as if it has not kept pace with the rocketing development and urbanization of the rest of Singapore. There is still an ethnic feel, laid back and down-to-earth character in Little India charms every visitor. So, is it an exact replica of India? Well, it does resemble India but does not feature the messy traffic, stray animals on roads and unclean surroundings. Little India is a clean locality like the rest of Singapore.

Things to experience in Little Singapore

If you want to relish authentic Indian food, you should go to Little India. From traditional south Indian cuisine to the north Indian delights, chaat, snacks and Indian drinks, you get everything here. Make it a point to sample south Indian coffee, fish curry and sambar. They are to die for! The temples here are another major attraction. Hindu temples such as Shri Lakshminarayana Temple, Veeramakaliamman Temple and Shri Srinivasa Perumal Temple built in 1855, Buddhist temples such as Sakaya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple and Chinese temples such as Long Shan Tang Temple are worth visiting. The place also houses Kampong Kapor Methodist Church and Foochow Methodist Church. Abdul Gafoor Mosque is another famous landmark of Little India. There is a Gurudwara as well. For shopping, there are a lot of places where you can go to. Serangoon Road is one of the main shopping areas. You can shop in the Tekka Center which has the Tekka Mall, Serangoon Plaza, Little India Arcade and Mustafa Center. Just do not be surprised when the shopkeepers charge you in Singapore dollars. After all, remember, you are not really in India; you are still in Singapore. Little India is adorned with the cottage industry and other commercial industries and especially for the Indians this is the best place to be, as at this place one would find Indian clothes and Indian food If you are an Indian and if this is your first visit to Singapore and if you are feeling low and depressed, then just, make a trip to this place to surprise yourself, as Little India is truly India away from India.

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