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August 12, 2008

Singapore Attraction: Little India

Attractions / Singapore

I was in India on a Friday night, oh yeah, missed out a word “Little”.

Little India is Singapore’s Indian heartland, yet another cultural heritage site in Singapore. It used to be a division where Indian immigrants would reside in olden days, but under Singapore government’s policy for racial harmony, the immigrant population (just like Chinese and other immigrants) was spatially segregated into different parts of the islands.

This is Veeramakaliamman Temple, one of the oldest temples in Singapore built by Indian pioneers who came to work and live in this island.

Little India is a vibrant and colourful ethnic quarter always bustling with people from all races who wish to savour Indian food and buy Indian stuffs. I can always find the best Indian food in Little India!

There are clusters of old yet beautiful shophouses in Little India.

Little India never sleeps! You can shop in this very big Mustafa shopping centre that opens 24-hrs a day, 7-days a week! This shopping centre offers almost everything! From fresh vegetables, meats, other groceries to furniture, electronic products, apparels, stationery, car accessories, and even jewellery.

Hmm, any translator here? Don’t understand Tamil but all these magazines look interesting!

This is a typical “mama” shop, that’s what the locals called it. Though the shop is small, you can find magazines, newspapers, drinks, snacks, cigarettes, medications, stationery, toys and many many more, just use your imagination! Now there aren’t many mama shops left in Singapore. Gee, till now, I still don’t know why this kind of traditional Indian shop is being called so affectionately. Is it that mothers in older days used to visit “mama” shop? (Updated from Chennai: Mama = Uncle. So it’s Uncle shop! Thanks KC.)

Many Indian shops selling ethnic jewellery.

Dazzled by all these ethnic gold jewellery elegantly displayed in the showcases…

Lovely garlands of freshly cut flowers for sale.

Do you realise I always end my blog about Singapore with some delightful local cuisine? This is a tasty and spicy spread of Indian chicken curry, potatoes and naans at a good price! Simply delicious!

Read posts on Singapore Changi Airport, Southern Ridges, Kampong Glam | Merlion, Esplanade & Singapore Flyer | Singapore Chill Out | Uniquely Singapore | Henderson Waves bridge

59 Comments Leave your comment

  • frenz said on August 12, 2008 8:28 pm

    hi,, all the pictures that you
    had posted are pretty awesome,
    and i read also some of your articles
    it’s really interesting keep up the good

  • alex said on August 12, 2008 8:57 pm

    the food looooooks so yum!!!

    nice pics from india ^^

  • Satheesh kumar KC said on August 12, 2008 9:44 pm

    Hehe.. This was a complete Surprise :) Kool and Thanks :) For a second thought you had really visited India – cos everythin really resembles Chennai – except the roads which are more cleaner there ! :)

    And mama in Tamil means “Uncle” not Mom :) We call Bunk shops like these which have evrythin as “Petti Kadai” or “Mama Kadai” (Kadai=Shop)

    And among the magazines , the one in the exact middle , is the one we buy in our home every week :)

  • imelda said on August 12, 2008 10:12 pm

    i will visit singapore this aug 25. i hope to see this little india if i have time.

  • mdtm said on August 12, 2008 10:13 pm

    nice presentation of singapore. where can i can find the cheapest gold in sngapore?

  • henry said on August 12, 2008 10:32 pm

    i have been to Little India. Exterior looks like an old town but when you get in, walaaa…hehe! Ate vegetarian fast food…kinda weird taste though. Anyway, it was a memorable experience for a chinese man to walk the centre of uncountable Indian ppl in that place! Hahaha!

  • Jasper Jugan said on August 12, 2008 11:44 pm

    i like naan, especially flavored ones with cheese and/or garlic. are there tandori chickens out there? they are best with naan!

  • eunice said on August 12, 2008 11:51 pm

    @frenz: Thanks for your visit =)

    @Alex: I didn’t go India!!! This Little India is just another cultural heritage site in Singapore LOL!! But thanks for your compliment! =D

    @KC: Wow, that is interesting! So do I still need to visit Chennai? =P

    @Imelda: Yes, I hope you will! This area has lots of nice Indian food, cheap and good, and not to mention the shops and tourist attractions.

    @mdtm: Thanks for your comment. I don’t know much about gold (no money to inve$ =P) but I think the gold price here is pretty standard based on current market rate.

    @Henry: Cool… And yes, especially during weekend, just like Chinatown, Little India is flocked by countless visitors, not to mention those who came from India and are working in SG now.

    @Jasper: Yes, there are tandori chickens! Great Indian food lover yeah? Me too!

  • Edisamsuri said on August 13, 2008 1:13 am

    What nice pictures? i wish i could be there someday

  • Bridge said on August 13, 2008 2:25 am

    Oh, if there’s Chinatown, there is Little India (^-^) cool sis! I have never been to the Little India of Singapore but I’ve been to the Big India of Malaysia, closely located to Kuala Lumpur… It’s called Batu Caves. It’s under my “One Surreal Morning in KL” post. Yap, they thought I was an Indian because my face is so universal, depending on how I dress myself and what color do I currently have (from tan to a light complexion).

    Also, do you love Indian foods? I like curry, just dont make it too spicy haha! I miss you so much =) I am finally back.

  • `JeromeFo said on August 13, 2008 4:01 am

    India Town in Singapore…
    Looks nicer than in Malaysia one.
    Foods look nice and clean….
    When the right time come, i sure will go there =)

  • Gilbert/Cely said on August 13, 2008 5:57 am

    WoWWWW!!!!!! These are amazing pictures! I thought you really went to India. It’s nice to know that there is this place that shows Indian culture in your very own place.

    Have a nice day!

  • Chee Wei said on August 13, 2008 8:11 am

    haha..if i didn’t read i would have thought its some places in India… maybe little india could be in my list of to visit places in singapore.hehe.

  • eunice said on August 13, 2008 5:13 pm

    @Bridge: I can take spicy food! Indian foods are good =) Wonder if KC knows how to cook heheh. Yeah yeah you have a universal look! When I was in the overseas, people thought I was from Korea.. last time I was told that I looked Japanese. I guess it’s cos of the popularity of Korean Drama, I become “Korean” in their eyes hehe.

    @JeromeFo: Yes, definitely a must-visit sight. The place is indeed clean. And don’t miss the Indian foods there!

    @Gilbert/Cely: Ha! U r not the first one who thought I was in India! Some thought I was in Beijing for the opening ceremony too! -__-|||

    @Chee Wei: Yeah, you can visit Little India on a Saturday night, you will feel like you are in India! Then you don’t need go India anymore :P

  • backpacking philippines said on August 13, 2008 10:13 pm

    wasn’t able to visit that when i was in singapore. visited only chinatown due to lack of time. i’ve been to Mumbai, India though

  • Mothercares said on August 13, 2008 11:01 pm

    Singapore is really a fine place. :)

  • Demiera said on August 14, 2008 12:00 am

    Wow…those pictures are so nice…and that jewelry looks amazing!!
    And the food pictures just reminded my poor tummy of how empty it is :(
    LMAO @ “Mama” shop…

  • eunice said on August 14, 2008 12:32 am

    @Backpacking: Wow, Mumbai! Did you post the photos in your blog? Interesting place!

    @Mothercares: Ha! There is a joke saying Singapore is a “Fine” place, cos you get fines easily XD

    @Demiera: Me too! Just saw those food pics again n now feeling hungry.. omg this isn’t a good sign at 12 midnight!

    Yeah, those are ethnic Indian jewellery. =)

  • WebbieStuffs said on August 14, 2008 3:51 am

    Very beautiful photography indeed eunice. actually the images look familiar to me when i went to malaysia, the same image i saw. you make it look great here, promise! hope you win the contest.

  • Mothercares said on August 14, 2008 9:08 am

    I worked with so many Indians long time back in Dubai Hospital. I found them that curry is their favorite spice.

  • JOY said on August 14, 2008 1:28 pm

    wahh~! i went to Little India before..Went in Mustaffa centre..Its really 24 hours..Shopped there the whole morning..Then had roti canai for lunch..really a great place to travel! :D

  • EVo said on August 14, 2008 2:08 pm

    Seriously, little india from ur pics looks like Brickfields, no where close to india lah.i’ve been there before n little india is a place to die for if the india indians see it. There’s really a huge difference.

  • eunice said on August 14, 2008 3:07 pm

    @EVo: Wow, when you mentioned Brickfields, I thought you were from the U.S hehe. I googled and now then I know it’s also Little India in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

    @Mothercares: Indians love curry, and I love Indian curry *grin*

    @Webbie Stuffs: Thanks!

    @Joy: Some crazy to share with you. Once I shopped at Mustafa Centre for 6 long hours while waiting for someone!

  • Borneo Falcon said on August 14, 2008 4:44 pm

    Nice coverage of Little India. I didn’t have the time to visit the places in my 4 days visit to Singapore last week

  • Chee Wei said on August 14, 2008 4:59 pm

    okay sure..i’ll start planning when is the best time to drop by singapore!! haha.

  • eunice said on August 14, 2008 6:02 pm

    @Borneo Falcon: Oh yeah! How was your honeymoon trip in SG?

    @Chee Wei: cooool

  • lz said on August 14, 2008 7:38 pm

    I have been there be4 too!! XD
    Can get special discout if can speak tamil? heheh..

  • meimei said on August 14, 2008 9:41 pm

    wahhhH!!! there is a BIG ‘Little India’ in Singapore ho?

    so many Indians in Singapore kah? I bet they are mostly frm Malaysia…lolx!!

  • eunice said on August 14, 2008 10:03 pm

    @Lz: If you speak Tamil, some Indian guys will go after you and buy you food and gifts… and KC’s parents will find u for future good.


    @meimei: Singapore so small how to accomodate a Big India!?! Alot of Indians are foreign workers, I think from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India… not Malaysians la.

  • antonio said on August 14, 2008 11:04 pm

    I should visit this place when we go to Singapore this September 20.
    Ohhh…I should start reading more of your past articles so that I know what to do when I get there.

    Nice photo’s Eunice……

  • eunice said on August 14, 2008 11:40 pm

    @Antonio: Yeah Little India is a good place to visit, you won’t regret! Good shopping, good food, good price. Hmm, sounds like I am the ambassador for Little India now kekekeke

  • Satheesh kumar KC said on August 15, 2008 11:52 am

    That aint Funny !! Grrrr.. :X

  • La Bubbly Chica said on August 15, 2008 3:52 pm

    Hi Eunice!!! India have many great landmarks…I been to Islamabad & Dakak…Have a nice day!!!

  • Piggy said on August 15, 2008 7:32 pm

    Yeh……we have little India in Penang too :) …..

    Is that chapati? I liked chapati…:)

  • Cecil said on August 15, 2008 8:54 pm

    Wow, your site is suddenly full of Indian feel with those photos posted… :)
    Very nice taken photos especially those shop front banners with some sexy Indian ladies posing… he..he..

  • eunice said on August 15, 2008 9:37 pm

    @Piggy: I didn’t know there is Little India in Penang too! I am going Penang next month! And that is naan, not chapati, though both are flat. XD

    @La Bubbly Chica: This post is not about India! It’s about Singapore’s Little India! kekeke, no problem, you are not the first one who thought so! XD

    @Cecil: LOL!!! XD Surprise mah! kekeke

  • Lifecruiser said on August 16, 2008 5:14 am

    Wow. Quite an impressive post with a lot of very good photos. Thanks for the wonderful tour! I enjoyed it a lot. That Veeramakaliamman Temple is one fantastic building, what an architecture! I’ve never seen anything like it! *whistles*

    Everything is new to me, very interesting and so is the food, so it would have been so exciting to be there in real life. One day….

  • JH said on August 16, 2008 1:41 pm

    Nice write up !

    This area can be very crowded at times ! Many different food, love the food from Tekka Market, especially the chicken briyani (chicken is cooked inside with the briyani rice, very tender !!!).

    Their curry is one of the most spicy I had ever eaten, can be very powerful !

    Wonder which part of Singapore would be covering next ? Hmm….. ;)

  • Wanderus said on August 17, 2008 4:48 am

    Gorgeous pictures as usual! It makes me want to go out and get some roti!

  • Mark H said on August 17, 2008 9:23 am

    I think one of the highlights of travelling to Singapore is the variety of food in places like Little India. The photos look mouthwatering.

  • Mayet said on August 18, 2008 12:50 am

    great photos! I love to see the real thing!

  • korean food said on August 18, 2008 8:44 am

    i thought you really went to india for a night sis…hehehe…i know lots of countries with chinatown but i’ve never heard of that little india that you’ve mention…that’s a great info. for me…

  • eunice said on August 18, 2008 12:26 pm

    @lifecruiser: The temple is one of the oldest in Singapore. There are a lot of such nice architectures in Singapore too, waiting for you to explore =)

    @JH: Really?! I will go Tekka to try that powerful curry!

    @Wanderus: Good food definitely worth the calories!

    @Mark H: In fact, food centres all over Singapore offer a great variety of food like Chinese, Malay, Indian, Western, Vegetarian, Japanese, Korean and a lot more beyond your imagination. Singapore is a food paradise too.

    @Mayet: Visit Singapore!

    @Korean Food: In fact, there is a “Little India” in many cities all around the world too. =)

  • La Bubbly Chica said on August 19, 2008 1:43 pm

    Hi Eunice….wow….its all in singapore…really??? Can’t believe it..well I think I need to visit singapore and see this…Thanks!!!

  • eunice said on August 20, 2008 1:25 pm

    @La Bubbly Chica: Yes, all contribute to the unique characteristic of Singapore =)

  • Hari said on August 20, 2008 6:16 pm

    Awesome pics :-) I have planned to study in singapore. got admission as well. I will be coming there soon. I am from india and this post made me smile :-)

  • sugitha said on August 20, 2008 6:28 pm

    Nice collections, My native is Tamil Nadu that pictures are really look like tamil nadu, I like that pictures and all, but the “mama shop” the word is very new here we use petti kadai.

  • eunice said on August 21, 2008 4:11 am

    @Sugitha: My Chennai friend said “mama” means “uncle” in Tamil, so it’s Uncle’s shop! =D

    @Hari: Cool!!! Which school are you going to?

  • siva said on February 5, 2009 2:59 pm

    very nice photo good job

  • kisha said on June 2, 2009 6:48 am

    india looks gud and nice pics lols

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