Little India is truly one of the most colorful historic districts in Singapore. Lime pits, brick ovens, and a race track once dotted the neighborhood, and its streets crowded with shepherds, merchants and garland makers practicing their trade.
To this day, this enclave of Indian culture retains its unique heritage. The neighborhood is a mouthwatering mix of new and old, with contemporary street art and trendy restaurants sitting alongside temples and age-old vendors selling a mouthwatering blend of spices, silk, and flowers.
Take a walk with us and discover the many charms of this two centuries old enclave.
Immerse yourself in culture
Alternative attractions: Tekka Center
If you want to refuel before visiting Sri Veeramkaliamman Temple, you can head to Tekka Center for an early breakfast. Street vendors here sell a whole assortment of Indian staples, including naan (layered flatbread baked in the oven) and vadai (fried savory Indian donut).
Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple
Start your discovery of Little India bright and early with a morning visit to Sri Veerama-Kaliamman Temple.
Built by Indian pioneers who lived in the Serangoon district in the 19th century, this magnificent place of worship is dedicated to the fierce goddess Kali and is a great place to deepen your understanding of Hinduism.
Colorful facade of the old house of Tan Teng Niah
The former home of Tan Teng Niah
Once you have finished immersing yourself in the culture, take a walk in the morning in the old house of Tan Teng Niah. Formerly owned by a prominent Chinese businessman who owned sweet factories in the neighborhood, this colorful two-story bungalow is a must-visit for history buffs who want to admire European and Chinese architectural styles.
Delight your senses
The Apolo banana leaf
For lunch, savor traditional Indian cuisine on a banana leaf in this traditional restaurant. Founded in 1974, Le Banana Leaf Apolo is a household name among locals and is famous for its fish-head curry and spicy masala chicken.
Jothi Store & Flower Shop
Don’t let the name of this establishment fool you – while Jothi Store & Flower Shop originally sold flowers and garlands for religious occasions, the store now sells a range of souvenirs and trinkets. Religious statuettes, incense sticks, and colored bracelets are just a few treasures intended to attract the attention of culture lovers.
Little India Arcade
Work on your big meal with an unforgettable walk at Little India Arcade. Sights, sounds, and smells abound in this bustling interior emporium, with vendors selling everything from knick-knacks to tapestries and sweet treats.
The exterior of Jothi Store and Flower Shop with visitors standing along the corridor
For vegetarian gourmets: Komala Vilas
If you are a vegetarian or if you abstain from meat for religious reasons, Komala Vilas is a great alternative to the Apolo banana leaf. This popular establishment has existed since 1947 and serves cuisine from northern and southern India.
Ourney through heritage
Indian Heritage Center
The Indian and South Asian communities of Singapore have a long and rich history that intertwines deeply with our nation. Expand your understanding of this facet of Singaporean culture with the range of events, exhibitions and guided tours of the Indian Heritage Center.
Masjid Abdul Gaffoor
Then take a stroll down Campbell Lane until you see Masjid Abdul Gaffoor. Listed as a national monument in 1979, this mosque is one of the oldest on the island, with a history dating back to the 19th century.
The melting pot of Singapore cultures is fully exposed in this magnificent place of worship, which incorporates classic Western motifs such as Corinthian pillars with Saracen architecture and calligraphic ornaments.
Alternative attractions: Mural @ 2 Dickson Road
If you are a street art lover, take a detour from the Abdul Gaffoor mosque to 2 Dickson Road. A living floral mural by the sobandwine art duo adorns the walls here and forms the perfect backdrop for a #OOTD.
Discover the new and the novel
The Malaysian Council
For a midday break, head to The Malayan Council at Dunlop Street. This well-loved local restaurant serves Western dishes inspired by Singapore flavors, such as beef ribs with roti kirai (laced pancake) and pasta with duck and chili padi (chili as the crow flies).
If you still feel full by lunch, we suggest you taste their delicious cakes, which are inspired by regional and local flavors such as durian and ondé ondeh (sticky rice balls filled with palm sugar, coated with nuts dried coconut).
In addition to its tradition and heritage, the evolution of Little India can be seen in the dynamic businesses you spy on while wandering around the neighborhood.
One such company is Onlewo, a designer store that will allow you to take a piece of our townhouse with you. Fabrics, housewares and gifts abound in this establishment, and many of the creations of this store are inspired by the emblematic districts of Singapore.
Malaysian Council Roti kirai beef ribs
Alternative attractions: Mural @ Dunlop Street
Are you looking to feed your “gram”? More street art awaits you a few steps away. Alive @ Clive is located along the walls of Haniffa. This dynamic work of art depicts a traditional Indian dancer against a multicolored background and will certainly bring a touch of color to your day.
If you are looking for souvenirs, Haniffa is a great place to buy saris (traditional Indian clothing for women) and traditional fabrics to take home.