District 08 – Little India
Just as almost every city in the world has a Chinatown, numerous cities have a hidden, culturally rich treasure like Little India. District 08 is made up of Little India and Serangoon Road and is filled with unique ethnic elements of the Indian community.
The minute you step into Little India, you feel as if you are transported to India. The air is thick with the scents of spice, jasmine garlands and colorful handmade silk saris are displayed splendidly at the stores. Imported jewelry, ornaments, food, clothes and other miscellaneous items from India can be found right in Tekka Centre, Little India Arcade or small sundry shops in Little India. Soak in the vibrant culture and festivities during Deepavali (Festival of Lights) which takes place between October and November. Watch as Little India turns into a sea of lights shining brightly under the sky. Every January and February, feast your eyes on Hindu devotees performing rituals during Thaipusam. Little India began as a former settlement for Indian convicts in Singapore. Situated along the Serangoon River, it soon became a place of livelihood for many settlers. A road in Little India that was built in 1916 on a drained swamp, is named Petain Road after the French Marshal, Henri Petain.
Serangoon Road is located in Little India, an intersection between Rochor Canal Road and Sungei Road. Tekka Centre, Tekka Mall, Little India Arcade, Serangoon Plaza and Mustafa Centre are situated on the side of Serangoon Road. Serangoon Road and the nearby Race Course Road are served by the North East MRT Line as well as temples such as the Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple built in 1855, Buddhist Sakyamuni Buddha Gaya Temple constructed in 1927 and Leong San See Temple.
In Little India, seek spirituality in the temples, churches or mosques such as Foochow Methodist Church, Kampong Kapor Methodist Church, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Angullia Mosque, Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman Temple, Jalan Mosque and Central Sikh Gurdwara.
Temporary Henna tattoos and fortune telling are also readily available at the five-foot ways of Little India. On Race Course Road in Little India, there lies a stretch of Singapore’s best kept secret – excellent eateries to cater to your inner gastronome.
There are two MRT Stations in Little India, namely, the Little India MRT Station and Farrer Park MRT Station. Serangoon Road is served by a number of MRT Stations including Boon Keng, Potong Pasir, Woodleigh, Serangoon and Kovan.
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