Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A tour about Little India

My friend, Mystic, has been interested to know more about my recent tour about the Little India, and I shall dedicate this post to her.

Regular visitors to my blog would have realised that I love going for The Original Singapore Walks. It is by far one of the most enriching, engaging and entertaining tours that I have attended in Singapore.

Make a guess of the function of the red-and-white colour structure.

This tour that I will be writing about is one of The Original Singapore Walks named Of Rajas, Sultans and Sahibs™. A simple way to describe it would be that it is a walk about the Little India of Singapore, with a dinner at the end of the tour. Read the synopsis of this walk here: http://www.singaporewalks.com/tours/rajassultanssahibs.htm

This tour has brought me to two temples and it has pleased me greatly that I've got to learn a little more about the religion of the Hindu. It was very interesting for me to learn about the differences between the two temples. I was even treated to accounts about the Indus civilisation. Yes, ancient civilisations is one topic that would captivate my attention. Do join this tour if you are interested to find out more.

Shree Lakshminarayan Temple. Notice the stupas.

Shree Lakshminarayan Temple. A North-Indian temple.
5 Chander Road, Singapore 219528.

Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple

Main door of Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple. Notice how elaborated the designs are.

These sculptures tell a story.

Nearby one of the temples, I took a photo of one of the garland shops. The tour guide shared with us some of the beliefs and ideologies associated with the offering of garlands to the gods. I learnt that the garlands made of grass were meant to be offered to the god, Ganesha.

Little India is a lovely place. During the duration of my tour about Little India, I could not help but admire the architecture and the designs of the buildings in the area. Throughout the tour, I was treated to the fragrant smell of spices that was lingering in the air.

Campbell Lane

One landmark that is worthy of my mention here is the Abdul Gafoor Mosque (Masjid Abdul Gafoor). This is by far the most beautiful and unique mosque that I have seen in Singapore. Notice the elaborate sundial at the main entrance to the prayer hall in which you would see 25 rays of the sun done in calligraphy. I was impressed by it when I saw the real thing. For this part of the tour, I like listening to the accounts of the spread of Islam to this part of the region.

Masjid Abdul Gafoor. A beautiful mosque.

Masjid Abdul Gafoor in the evening. Taken after the tour.

(More photos of Masjid Abdul Gafoor can be found here.)

We were then taken to the Indian Classical Music Centre which is located at 26 Clive Street. For myself who plays a musical instrument, it was a fascinating place to visit. I learnt a bit about Indian classical music right here. The Founder Director, Ustad Sharafat Khan, treated us to beautiful music played on the sitar. This place carries interesting Indian instruments and recordings of sitar music for those who would like one of these as momentos.

A lovely rendition of music on the Sitar.

The tour also brought us to an Ayurvedic Medicine shop at 48 Campbell Lane where we learnt more about Ayurvedic Medicine. I cannot help but think that there are a lot of things that we can learn from the Indian civilisation and its various philosophies.

Aloe vera outside the Ayurvedic Medicine shop.

The tour ends with Indian dinner at Banana Leaf Apolo. The food is good. I like the North Indian cuisine because it is less spicy. While having dinner, I could not help but remember the day when I have had dinner with my friend, Mystic, at the Banana Leaf Apolo restaurant at Race Course Road several months ago. Good food can trigger pleasant memories.

Now, let the photos do the talking here:

North Indian cuisine.

Making of the Indian 'pancake'.

Nasi briyani.

Yummy food.

After the tour and the dinner, I walked about Little India on my own.

Of Rajas, Sultans and Sahibs™ is an enriching tour for anyone who wants to learn more about the Indian civilisation. I get very excited each time I go for the Original Singapore Walks because the tours would remind me that there are so much that I can learn about this country that I grew up in. I am loving the idea of touring my own country, and I shall go for more in the near future.

Also see:
The Colourful Little India

(Updates: With effect from 2 July 2007, the Little India tour with dinner, Of Rajas, Sultans and Sahibs™ - will no longer be part of the regular weekly walks. Interested walkers however, can still request for the tour. Please call Tel: 6325 1631 for more details.)


Simple American said...

That does look nice. So much to do in Singapore. :)

Jane said...

I remember I went there and I got my henna painting on my hands but I don't remember it looks nice like this!!! I should check it again next time I go to Singapore. You can reveal the beauty of your country!

oceanskies79 said...

SA: It is nice. I can say it is not enough to just spend a few days in Singapore. *winks*

Jane: Thank you for the compliments. If you are in Singapore the next time, do give me advanced notice so that I can see if I could make time to bring you around.

eastcoastlife said...

Ahhh! Little India .... I go there often because of my foreign friends. Lots of exciting things to do and interesting things to see. Always surprises when I go. Enjoy chatting with the Indian shopkeepers and service staff.

oceanskies79 said...

Eastcoastlife: While I was at your son's blog, he told me a secret that you would be the one who plan for the itinerary when he brings your foreign guests around.

It certainly looks like you know more about this country than I do, so please bear with me if I were to try to probe more of this from you.

Little India is an interesting place, but I didn't realise so until these few years.

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