Little India Overview

Showing off the Indian culture in Singapore, Little India is a small area bustling with shops, cafes and the vibrant culture. From hindu temples to muslim mosques, this area is home to numerous locations which collectively exhibit the diversity of Indian culture. While the place is famous among locals for shopping for Indian goods, Little India is also a perfect place to enjoy the lip-smacking Indian cuisine. 

Located east of the Singapore River, Little India is one of the most visited districts in Singapore. The place is famous for its religious sites which include Hindu and Buddhist temples along with a 19th-century Mosque. In the early 19th century, it was an important spot for Europeans because of the presence of a racecourse in the area. As the cattle trading business took over, the place started getting an Indian makeover because of the large number of migrant workers from India settling in. If you're planning a trip to Singapore, exploring Little India should definitely be on your itinerary, and you might want to consider a Singapore tour package that includes this vibrant and historically rich neighborhood.

Later on, the goods & services business flourished, and a lot of Hindu temples and Mosques were built. Today, Little India is one among the most vibrant cities of Singapore because of its Indian and mixed cultured flavours. Along Serangoon road, there are multiple Indian eateries and restaurants where you can try traditional South Indian food, Northern tandoori recipes and some local cuisines like Roti-Prata and Teh-Tarik (pulled hot tea).

You can also visit the brewers who pull hot milk in a unique way, which is a delight to watch. Another famous spot in Little India is the Mustafa Center shopping mall which is open for 24 hours. Just like a festive Indian market, Little India has got roofless Tekka Center, goldsmiths, and Saree stores. Little India attracts most visitors during the Indian festive seasons, i.e. near October and November for Deepavali and during mid-January for Pongal.

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• The place boasts of a charming and colourful vibe which reflects the exact aura of a regular Indian market.
• Inside Little India lies the oldest hindu temple of Singapore - Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple.
• If you are a celebration fanatic and wish to indulge in Indian festivals then visit here around Diwali and Holi.
• The alleyways here offer a bohemian-hipster vibe, hence you will find a wide variety of murals and wall paintings for a perfect backdrop of your pictures.
• The Little Indian Arcade located inside Little India boasts of numerous small stalls selling souvenirs with Indian origin.
• If you are a lover of spicy food then head over to the Khansama Tandoor Restaurant and relish on numerous non vegetarian delicacies ranging from kebabs to keemas.
• For vegetarian people, the Gokul Vegetarian Restaurant is the perfect bet as it offers a wide menu having different types of Indian regional dishes like appam and rasam.
• Get your bargain skills ready as the markets here will let you shop for numerous fancy items at very reasonable prices.
• Do not forget to mark a visit at the Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple, which is a Thai-Buddhist temple and has been kept alive by the Chinese during the second world war.

How To Reach

There are several ways to reach Little India from Changi Airport. Listed below are all the options that you may consider depending upon your time and budget:

1. The most recommended option is by taking the subway from Changi to Bugis, which is a 42 minutes travel, including the 2-minute transfer at Tanah Merah.

2. If you are looking for a more economical option then you can take the Line 36 bus from Changi Airport PTB3 to the Rendezvous Grand Hotel, this option will cost you around INR 50-160.

3. If you have managed to get your own car on the airport, then it's a 19.5 km drive with an approximate fuel cost of INR 180-270, depending upon the vehicle and traffic. You can also hire a taxi on the same route which will cost you around INR 1300 – 1600.

4. There are on-demand shuttles available from Changi Airport to Little India MRT Station with a little travel time of around 16 minutes and at the cost of 1000 INR. Similarly, you can also hire a Towncar on the price of INR 1800-2600 with the same travel time as the shuttle.

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Best Time To Visit

Like the rest of Singapore, Little India also has the same weather throughout the year. Most of the temples and other places of worship are open for visitors in the early morning itself while the shops and the restaurants are open by 10 AM.

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Other Essential Information

Indian restaurants at Little India, Singapore

1. Banana Leaf Apolo: The restaurant mainly focuses on pleasing the tourists. There are recommended delicacies like fish-head spicy curry and masala-chicken. As their name suggests, they serve most of their dishes on a banana leaf.

Location: 48 Serangoon Road

Timings: Daily from 10.30am to 10.30pm

2. Tekka Food Center: Tekka is the most economical place to eat in the city. It's a food court which has tempting curry-canteens, Tibetan hawker stalls, indigenous Malay snack-stalls, and affordable Singapore noodles.

Location: 665 Buffalo Road

Timings: Daily from 6.30am to 9 PM

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3. Ananda Bhavan Restaurant: The original restaurant was founded in 1924 and now has 6 outlets in the city. Mainly known for Biryani, Rasam, and Dosas, the place provides an authentic taste of South Indian food.

Location: 448 Serangoon Road

Timings: Daily from 8 AM to 10 PM

4. Khansama Tandoori Restaurant: This place is famous for vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food. Most sought after dishes are Indian tandoori chicken, mutton kababs, as well as fish-prawn curries, which can be paired with rice or roti-naan.

Location: 166 Serangoon Road

Timings: Sunday–Thursday from 11 AM to 1 AM

5. Allaudin's Biryani: Located on the 2nd floor of Tekka Food Centre, the place serves authentic Biryani made with Basmati rice and infused with herbs along with chunks of mutton and chicken and a boiled egg.

Location: #01-229, Tekka Food Centre, 665 Buffalo Road

Timings: Daily from 9 AM to 8 PM

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Temples at Little India, Singapore

Little India is the most vibrant city in Singapore, and that is mainly because of the cultural blend that is visible in the architecture of the city. While talking of Architecture, the magnificent temples of Little India are a must on every visitor's list:

1. Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple: Among the oldest temples in Singapore, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, the destroyer of evil. The temple was built by the Indian migrants in the early 19th century and has survived the aerial attacks of world wars and natural disasters.

Location: 141 Serangoon Road, Rochor

2. Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple: The temple was earlier known as Narasinga Perumal Kovil. Its five-tiered gopuram tower is sculpted with the avatars of Lord Vishnu and other Hindu deities which add to the beauty of this architectural marvel.

Location: 397 Serangoon Road, Kallang

3. Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple: Also known as the temple of 1000 lights because of the 1000 lamps that surround the majestic statue of Gautam Buddha, which is 15 feet tall and weighs around 300 tonnes. The temple was initially built in 1927, and its current form was given through donations by Aw Boon Har and Aw Boon Par two brothers who made the medicinal ointment Tiger Balm.

Location: 366 Race Course Road, Kallang

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Best Places to Shop at Little India Singapore

Little India is a lot different from the rest of Singapore when it comes to shopping. You will find yourself strolling around the street markets and open-air shopping centres. Also, if you are up for budget shopping then you must visit the Mustafa Centre which is a 24-hour shopping mall in Little India. Best places for shopping in Little India are:

1. Mustafa Center: The 24-hour shopping place offers designer products at relatively low prices. Though it's a bit messy and packed at peak hours but again who doesn't want to save some money while buying the best quality products.

Location: 145 Syed Alwi Road

Timings: 24/7

2. Sim Lim Square: Located 500 meters west of the Little India MRT station, the Sim Lim Square is one of the largest electronics malls in Singapore. The 6-storeyed mall has around 200 stores selling laptops, cameras, smartphones, and other gadgets.

Location: 1 Rochor Canal Road

Timings: 9.30 am to 8 PM daily

3. Tekka Food Center: It is mainly known for a meat market on the ground floor and many cheap garments shops. After done with the shopping, you can head to the food court area to relish on some Chinese and Malay delicacies.

Location: 665 Buffalo Road

Timings: Daily from 6.30 am to 9 PM (hours may vary from shop to shop)

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4. City Square Mall: An eco-mall integrated with a luxury urban park, City Square has 9 levels of shopping and entertainment spaces. Visit here for cinema, games, and also a wide range of restaurants and cafes.

Location 180 Kitchener Road

Timings: Daily from 10 AM to 10 PM

5. Little India Arcade: Vibrant small shops housed in the 1920s building give you a nostalgic shopping experience. They sell Indian dresses, dried herbs, artwork, aromatic incense sticks, and electrical items.

Location: 48 Serangoon Road

Timings: Daily from 10 AM to 10 PM

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6. Chandna Market: Chandana Mart is the oldest Alcohol and medicine shop situated about 250 meters northwest of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. If you are looking for some exotic wine, liquor, and spirit, imported from various parts of the world, then this is the place to go.

Location: 230 Serangoon Road

Timings: 9 AM TO 7:30 PM

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Best Hotels to Stay in Little India Singapore

1. Arianna Hotel: Arianna hotel is particularly famous for its peculiar location which is just across the Mustafa Centre Shopping Mall. They have 50 luxurious rooms to offer and are a popular host for vacationers and business travelers.

Average price/day: INR 2434

Rating: 7.2

2. Hotel 81 Rochor: Generally preferred by tourists for its pocket friendly room prices. Rochor is a part of the Hotel 81 chain of Singapore. Apart from regular services of laundry, WiFi and gym, there’s also have an ATM within 50 meters of the hotel.

Average price/day: INR 3832

Rating: 7.0

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3. Hotel 81 Dickson: They are another lodging option from the Hotel 81 chain. It shares similar facilities with its elder sibling but has bigger rooms and a large conference area. They also have a gym and aerobics room.

Average price/day: INR 3832

Rating: 7.0

4. The Great Madras: This hotel offers a continental breakfast for the guests and have great support staff. Popular points of interest in the proximity are Mustafa Center, Bugis Street, and the Singapore Art Museum.

Average price/day: INR 5321

Rating: 7.3

5. Mayo Inn: The trilingual staff present in this hotel take outstanding care of their guests. They have unique facilities which includes a Jacuzzi bath for the suite. It's just 901 m from the Singapore Art Museum.

Average price/day: INR 6587

Rating: 7.0

6. Golden Royal Hotel: Golden Royal is a common choice for tourists because it offers decent accommodation at a budget price. They have different segments of rooms which include single occupancy, dual and triple bed options.

Average price/day: INR 3014

Rating: 7.0

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Places to Visit near Little India Singapore

Apart from the enchanting religious sites and popular shopping centres, the Little India neighbourhood has a lot more to offer. Major tourist attractions near Little India are:

1. Little India Arcade: Just the place to visit for ethnic Indian food, fashion, and music. It's a 20th-century building housing a range of small traders selling a variety of products.

2. Campbell Lane: A pedestrian walkway, surrounded by street shops which are certain to give you an old school feeling from the 90s. Several large kitchen shops are selling Indian ingredients along with fresh fruits and vegetables.

3. Petain Road: If you wish to behold the exquisite 'Chinese-Baroque' architecture from the 1930s and beautiful shophouses that are set behind a broad grass verge, then Petain Road is a must-visit. Also, there is a large grass park which has play equipment for children.

4. Tekka Temporary Market: Best advice in this market is to look for a place where locals are eating. Also, if you want to buy some raw fish and prawns, then this is the place to go. This place is one stop for buying souvenirs, spices, sweets, vegetables, traditional Indian attire, and inexpensive, casual clothes.

5. Abdul Gaffoor Mosque: An epitome of Islamic architecture right in the heart of Little India. The main attraction of the majestic mosque is the sundial decorating the main entrance; it has 25 rays decorated with Arabic calligraphy displaying the names of 25 chosen prophets of Islam.

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Tips for visiting Little India

Little India is vibrant and worth visiting during all the hours of the day, you should consider the following tips for a fulfilling excursion experience:

  • If you want to dedicate a whole day to explore Little India, then it is advisable to begin early in the morning and start by visiting the Temples, Churches, and mosques. 
  • Post that, you can take a lunch break in the afternoon and then you can go on your shopping spree and continue with it till late at night.
  • You are not required to hire a vehicle for exploring Little India as you can find everything just by the roadside. Also, you can crack a good bargain at most of the shops except the brand outlets so don't go by the printed MRPs. 
  • If it's already late and you are not done with the shopping part then head towards the Mustafa Center which is open 24 hours, and there you can find everything, from electronics to groceries.

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Point of Interest for Little India
Get a glimpse of Chinese culture the House of Tan Teng Niah

Get a glimpse of Chinese culture the House of Tan Teng Niah

If the beautiful and colorful buildings fascinate you then get ready to enjoy a scenic picture in front of you. The House of Tan Teng Niah is a double storeyed building and is one of the last remaining Chinese architecture buildings in Little India. Dating back to the 1900s, this building is now largely famous among photographers as its colourful architecture offers a perfect backdrop.

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Visit the abode of Krishna at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

Visit the abode of Krishna at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple

The external features of the temple may look similar to the Sri Veeramakaliamman, but there are idols of other deities too in the main worship area.

Location: 397 Serangoon Road

Timings: Daily from 6.15 am to noon and from 6 PM to 9 PM

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 Mandatory Shopping at the Mustafa Center

Mandatory Shopping at the Mustafa Center

If you are a shopping enthusiast and want to visit a place which offers numerous handmade items at rock bottom prices then the mustafa Centre is the perfect place for you. This shopping complex is divided into different floors where each floor is finely divided into different sections. From handicrafts to electronics and from souvenirs to spices and curry pastes, this place has shops for every item you are looking for. During the Indian festivals like eid or diwali, one can find the shopping centre beautifully decorated from inside out.

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Get enlightened at the Temple of Thousand Lights

Get enlightened at the Temple of Thousand Lights

The temple is named so because of the chain of lamps surrounding the Buddha statue, which is 15-meters tall and weighs 300 tonnes. This early 20th-century temple is a must-visit for those who seek a peaceful and enlightening atmosphere.

Location: 366 Race Course Road

Timings: Daily from 8 AM to 4.30pm

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Explore Indian Heritage Centre

Explore Indian Heritage Centre

The Indian Heritage centre is a cultural centre as well as a museum located in the heart of Little India, Singapore. The place is finely divided into different sections where each of it highlights different aspects of Indian Culture. From handicrafts to age-old artefacts, this museum is dotted with numerous items as well as relics which give you an idea about the culture of India

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Visit Abdul Gaffoor Mosque

Visit Abdul Gaffoor Mosque

If the beautiful architecture of mosques excite you then make sure that you visit the Abdul Gaffoor Mosque in Little India. With its bright yellow and green colour, this mosque exhibits a striking beauty and can be noticed from far away. While the mosque does not allow women to enter, men can visit here anytime and enjoy a fun session of photography or a pious session of prayers. 

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Pay a Visit to the Temples

Pay a Visit to the Temples

When exploring Little India in Singapore, do not forget to mark a visit to its temples which offer a vibe of Diverse India. These temples, with their scenic backdrops and beautiful architecture, never fail to amaze the visitors. Some of the must visit temples located within the vicinity of Little India include - Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple and the Temple of 1000 lights.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Little India FAQs

What is Little India?

Little India is the hub of the large Indian community in Singapore, and it is famous among visitors for its rich cultural flavours and vibrant street markets. It's located along the Eastern side of the Singapore River and is on an easy approach from the airport. Little India's primary attraction is the collection of street stalls, temples, old buildings, and shopping centres.

Visitors mainly come to the place for an original taste of Indian food, authentic Indian wear and other products like herbs and medicines. The place is generally packed with tourists during all the months, but the real festive colours can be witnessed during Deepavali and Pongal.

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How do I get to Little India, Singapore?

The convenient entry points in the area are Little India and Farrer Park Stations of the North-East MRT Lines. Bugis Station is also a few hundred meters away, and it lies on the East-West Line. Two new stations, namely Rochor and Jalan, are also operational now, and they are near the Sim Lim Tower.

Getting a taxi to Little India can be difficult on weekends because of the rush, but you can always book one using the phone. If you wish to arrive from the Airport directly, then you can take the subway or drive down in a car which will take you around 45 minutes for 17 kilometers.

What is unique about Little India, Singapore?

There are vibrantly painted shop-houses that reflect an Indian touch. Numerous signboards written in Indian languages like Tamil, Hindi, and Bangla can be found on the shop fronts. Strolling down the walkway, you can spot roadside stalls that sell Indian garments like Saree and pieces of jewelry like bangles and churas. You can hear the hymns of Temple aartis along with Church bells and Azaan from the Mosque, early in the morning. How can one forget to mention the exquisite Indian food that is available in every corner of Little India?

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How long does it take to visit and view the entire Little India Singapore?

Though the time taken to explore entire Little India varies according to your interests, it will be better if you dedicate one day to this special place. Little India's main centre is Serangoon Road, which begins at Rochor Canal Road and continues northward to the Serangoon region, where it finally ends at Punggol. The entire area is concentrated with tourists but can be easily covered on foot. If you take into account the travel time from the airport, then it will take you another 45 minutes to 1 hour to reach Little India.

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