Earlier this year, the National Heritage Board launched three new heritage trails around Little India in Singapore that offer a glimpse into the past of this vibrant neighbourhood. Although many tour operators in The Lion City offer walks around the area, the heritage trails have been curated for tourists who have a limited amount of time to explore the city-state.
The National Heritage Board’s trails have been divided into three categories; The Walk of Faiths, Serangoon in the 1900s and Shop Til You Drop! Each of these trails provides information about the former tenants of the area and how the neighbourhood as evolved. Pick up the Little India Heritage pamphlet for fascinating images to compare how the neighbourhood looked in the past versus now.
The Walk of Faiths, the longest of the three, covers eleven points of interest over 2.6 kilometres and takes approximately an hour to complete. It starts off at the stunning Abdul Gafoor Mosque on Dunlop Street and winds past The Church of the True Light, Sri Vadapathira Temple, finally ending up at Leong San See Temple on Race Course Road. More than anything, the Walk of Faiths highlights the racial and religious diversity that has always played an important role in the city-state.
Serangoon in the 1900s focuses on the early settlers in the region. This 1.35-kilometre trail features eleven points of interest and should take 40 minutes to complete. Starting from the Indian Heritage Centre, you’ll follow a trail through some of the most important locations for earlier settlers including the Chinese Clan Associations and ending up at the former Tekka Market. This trail also highlights some of the modern beautiful street murals in Little India like the Mural of Traditional Trades of Little India by Psyfool. On this trail, the Little India Heritage pamphlet provides information on how many streets got their names as well as information about the cattle trade and urban development that took place at the turn of the century.
Finally, the shortest trail, Shop Til You Drop! visits six locations over a 1-kilometer distance. The estimated completion time is 30 minutes, but it definitely depends on how much shopping you do! Starting at the Little India Arcade where you’ll see traditional Indian jewellery, going through the Jothi Store and Flower Shop which sells religious garlands and more and going past Mustafa Centre where the rumour is that you can buy anything.
Visit the National Heritage Board’s website for more information including the Little India Heritage Booklet and detailed maps of all three trails.