The kind of impact the Indian culture had had upon various parts of the world really makes one proud. We Indians had been to everywhere! Indian culture is known for its grace, hospitality and traditional values which have been held together through all times. This speciality of our culture has evoked great interest amongst the connoisseurs from various parts of the globe to explore more about India. Besides, many foreigners have embraced the Indian way of life and have found solace in our country.
The phenomenon of dispersal of Indians across the world has been going on since time immemorial. Today we find large areas dedicated to the Indian communities in almost everywhere. Although not very ancient, one such special zone can be found in a dynamic country called Singapore. It is an amazing fact that this special zone in the Singaporean neighbourhood has been officially named as “Little India”. Little India is actually the territorial congregation of south Indian Tamils in the island.
A vibrant amalgamation of south in the east, Little India is a colourful Indian locality in Singapore. The Little India area was developed along the Serangoon river around a former settlement for Tamil convicts. Raising cattle was the prominent activity of this area, until other economic activities developed by the 20th century. The area, today, looks like a pure Tamil ethnic neighbourhood. Flower vendors with garlands of jasmine, spice shops, Indian restaurants and Bollywood music shops are just some of the interesting sights of this place.
One of the most prominent features of Little India is the presence of Sri Veeramakaliamman temple dedicated to the Hindu Goddess Kali. The construction of this temple dates back to the year 1881. It has been designed in the south Indian style and is one of the most beautiful and colourful temple you will come across in Singapore. Large gatherings of devotees can be seen at the temple every day. Two other temples called Sri Srinivasa Perumal temple and Sri Vadapathira Kaliamman temple can also be found in this Little India precinct.
Little India is not just a name but it is an actual miniature of India. Just as our country, this place is also a cultural hub in Singapore. Besides the presence of Hindu temples, you can also find a central Sikh gurudwara, a few churches and mosques as well. Serangoon Road is the main commercial hub of Little India. A number of shopping complexes are situated across the road. The most popular shopping mart in Little India is the Mustafa Centre, one of the 24-hour shopping complexes in Singapore. This place is a hub of decorative items, household essentials, food, spices, electronics and much more.
All this and so much more can be found in this small neighbourhood of Singapore. It is a very special to feel at home even in a foreign nation. And Little India leaves no mark in doing that rightfully! It is not just the name but the essence as well that deems this place as the Little India in Singapore!