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Friday, April 29, 2016

Little India, Singapore

I continue From Here 

Day-01 (Contd...) 29-April-2016

Post our much needed nap, on our first day in Singapore, we headed towards Little India. As it was only a kilometre away from our hotel, we decided to walk. I always love the walk that Lonely planet books suggest around a locality. It normally covers all the attractions in the area, including bazaars and local specialties. Our route followed thus - 

Sakya Muni Buddha Gaya Temple - It’s a nice small Buddhist temple with a 15m tall Buddha idol. 



Right in front of it is another small Buddhist temple called Leong San See Temple filled with lots of glittering gold plated idols and statues. 



We took an alley to get to Serangoon road, that had some interesting graffiti on display.




On Serangoon rd is Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple. The temple has a beautiful gopura. At the time we visited, the main shrine was closed. However, it houses a Vishnu idol as the name indicates. 



Further down this lane is Mustafa Centre, one of the most crowded and busiest malls. However, before entering the mall, we wanted to eat at Sarvana Bhawan. Upon entering, we noticed that it was empty and perhaps not authentic. So we stepped out and entered the neighbouring Anand Bhawan that seemed popular in the area.  A masala dosa cost you S$ 4 that is Rs200. So thats the kind of expense you are looking at. 



Little India, as the name indicates feels like India more than Singapore. Well, more precisely, it feels like Little Chennai than India; a cleaner Chennai perhaps. We tried some delicious dosas. The taste was equivalent to what we would get in India. 

Mustafa is filled with shops that sell almost everything under the sky. There are several floors and it resembles a big bazaar from India. The only difference being, that it is ten times bigger. 



Walking down the same road, we passed through Anguilla mosque and arrived at Veeramkaliamman temple. The place was crowded with idols of all the Gods and of course with Tamilians. The feel though seemed very south Indian. Unlike, in Sri Lanka, there were no distinguishable difference in the Prayer styles. 



We also witnessed a Bhangra dance performance being performed at a local park. The performers invited the Indian audience to join in but everyone hesitated. Perhaps, most of them were south Indians who normally are not as expressive or extroverts as North Indians.  I liked this park with fake trees and colourful umbrellas replacing leaves.






We continued on Veersamy rd and turned left on to Kampong Kapor rd; passed through the methodist church and on Dunlop st, we visited this beautiful mosque. Many were performing their evening namaz. 



Dunlop St also has some good hostels and pubs. We next walked by the Tan house and Tekka centre filled with stalls selling vegetable, meat and more food. 

There are a lot of budget Indian eateries out here. If you are someone who hesitates to try new cuisine and would like to stick with Indian food, then Little India is where you need to stay in. It is slightly crowded and might get noisier on evenings and weekends. But, the biggest downside of staying there, according to me, is that you shall feel like you are in Chennai. 

However, continuing the comparison with HK, it is interesting to note that in SP, the Indians seem much more well behaved. People do not stare at you or they do not bother you like they do in HK. In HK, we always saw a bunch of Indians, Pakistanis or Bangladeshis grouping together near metro stations and staring at people. Sometimes approaching you to buy something or try food at their restaurants etc. The indian community in SP are much more well mannered in that regards. The Indians, mostly south indians, are very polite to the tourists from India and very accommodating. They do not show-off or pretend to be aliens to the natives like we see happen in most developed nations. 

We  stopped at a MRT station and bought the EZ-Link card that has discounted fare for trains and buses. It is very similar to the Octopus card in HK but not that friendly. An Octopus card in HK can be used everywhere - in shops, trains, buses or hotels etc. But EZ-link is only meant for transport. It costs S$12 and an additional S$5 for the card which is non-refundable. You can top it up at any MRT stations as and when required. 

All together this has been a great day and we seem to have got a flavour of this city already. Can’t wait to explore it further. 

Continued Here 

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