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Little India - An Authentic Whiff of the Subcontinent


Photo of Little India courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board / Photographer: Leow Ming Loong
Photo courtesy of the Singapore Tourism Board / Photographer: Leow Ming Loong

Where else in Singapore can you tell where you are by the smell of spices and jasmine? Only in Little India, where Singapore's Indian community buys its food, spices, saris, and jewelry. Little India is centered around Serangoon Road - its main thoroughfare and side streets are lined with shops selling everything from jewelry to Bollywood memorabilia to curries to papier-mache boxes.

While you're there, you simply must stop by two of the most famous shopping stops in Little India: the Tekka Centre and the 24-hour Mustafa Centre.

The Tekka Centre along Bukit Timah Road trafficks in all sorts of uniquely Indian items - the wet market on the ground floor sells vegetables, meats, flowers and spices, and the adjacent hawker center sells Indian vegetarian meals and other popular local fare. The upper floors teem with vendors selling religious paraphernalia, hardware, and saris.

Mustafa Centre (145 Syed Alwi Road; Tel: 62955855) is open 24 hours, and it stocks a wide assortment of wares in its cramped interior. The walkways are quite narrow, all the better to stock more stuff in its six floors. The Centre is best known for its cheap electronics, affordable gold, and wide assortment of spices in the supermarket. Prices for these items are surprisingly low, which explains why Mustafa Centre is such a draw for tourists.

Nearest MRT Stops: The North-East MRT line's Little India (NE7) and Farrer Park (NE8) stations exit near Serangoon Road. The East-West line's Bugis station (EW12) is within walking distance of Little India.

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