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Singapore’s Little India Heritage trails offer generous glimpses into the country’s history and culture, inviting travellers to partake in self-guided tours around the Lion City.
Singapore’s National Heritage Board established three heritage trails around Little India in Singapore, inviting visitors to explore the past of this vibrant neighbourhood. Although many tour operators offer walks around the area, these trails are specially curated to tourists with limited time (and who may need a little helping hand).
The trails are divided into three categories: The Walk of Faiths, Serangoon in the 1900s and Shop Til You Drop!
Each is supplied with information about how the neighbourhood as evolved over the years, including details of the lives of its former tenants.
Pro tip: Culture Trip recommends picking up the Little India Heritage pamphlet, which provides fascinating historical images of this neighbourhood.
The Walk of Faiths is the longest of the three trails, covering eleven points of interest over 2.6 kilometres. Taking 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. This trail splendidly highlights the racial and religious diversity that has always played an important role in Singapore.
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 early settlers, including the Chinese Clan Associations and former Tekka Market. This trail also highlights some of the modern beautiful street murals in Little India, such as The Mural of Traditional Trades of Little India by Psyfool.
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 beautiful traditional Indian jewellery, the trail goes through the Jothi Store and Flower Shop which specialises in religious garlands, and ends up at the legendary 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.