Singapore’s Indian community lives north of the city center. This is an attractive corner of the city that draws plenty of tourists. There are many hotels in Little India for visitors who plan on spending time in the bazaars and restaurants here.
There aren’t many touristy attractions in Little India, but the neighborhood itself is fascinating and well worth exploring. The most visited building is Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, which dates to the 19th century. The temple comes alive with devotees on weekends and Tuesdays. On other days, the scene is relatively quiet. The area is also tied up in colonial history, with sites like KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, which delivered half of all babies born in Singapore in the 1930s.
Most of the commerce in Little India takes place in traditional bazaars. Serangoon Road (Racecourse Road) is the main avenue, with several markets arrayed on its side streets. Silk textiles, handicrafts, spices and jewelry are all popular purchases. The City Square Mall, an eco-friendly shopping center, is east of Serangoon Road.
Hotels in Little India fill up quickly during the Deepavali Festival, held late in the year (usually October). It’s the local festival of lights, and it’s a great time for anyone with an interest in the Indian community to visit Singapore. Thaipusam Festival, held on a full moon early in the year, is another worthwhile time to visit.
Local restaurants serve mainly spicy South-Indian fare, but it’s possible to sample flavors from all over the subcontinent. The nightlife is low-key here, but there are a few British-style pubs on Serangoon Road that stay open late.