The sights, sounds and smells of Little India are what bring shoppers back, year after year. Brightly colored silk saris, heady spices, jasmine garlands, brassware and ethnic jewellery bombard your senses as you meander past overflowing tables and baskets.
Little India consists of several smaller shopping areas. The Tekka Centre, known to locals as the KK Market, is a cook’s oasis. Fresh fruits and vegetables, flowers, spices, meat and fish are beautifully displayed in a riot of color, accented by small stands selling souvenirs or wood and brass. The Mustafa Shopping Centre, open 24 hours a day, found at the opposite end of Serangoon Road, may not be much to look at but you are guaranteed to find a little bit of everything at very reasonable prices. Toiletries, jewellery, CDs, cosmetics, groceries and souvenirs fill their shelves. They tend to be very crowded, so try visiting Mustafa Centre during off peak hours.
The spice mill is a must see for some of the world’s best curry spices. Gifts of jewellery, bed linens and photographs fill baskets and cover tables inviting shoppers to take a closer look. Chellas Gallery’s paper match boxes and other gifts from Kashmir are a must buy. Th Little India is a prefect place to buy unique gifts from Singapore.
It is certainly the smells that come to mind when thinking about Little India. There are more restaurants than a person could visit in five lifetimes. Buffets, fast food, catering, sit down restaurants and food carts fill the air with turmeric, cinnamon and curry. Karu’s Banana Leaf Restaurant, Mumtaz Mahal Restaurant and Catering and the Shish Mahal Restaurant & Pub all deserve your attention. Seafood, vegetarian menus and everything in between will tempt your senses and your palette, spiced with the occasional waft of incense.
The flower shops of Little India are a sight to behold. Brilliant colors, intoxicating aromas and a mind boggling display of garlands, fresh cut flowers and strands of flowers hang from every available support. Used in honoring Hindu gods, the strands of flowers are used to show wishes of love, peace and purity. You will be tempted to fill your arms and baskets with the scent of jasmine and other lovelies. Go ahead, there are holding facilities that will keep your purchases safe until you are ready to go back to your home or hotel.
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It is crucial that you wander the back streets of this incredible market. There are chemists, vitamin stores, Turkish rugs, saris, bolts of fabric, electronics, watches, perfumeries, money changers, travel agencies, embroidered clothing, CDs and DVDs, all for the taking. It is a great place to take the family, as there is something for everyone.