New heritage trail launched in Singapore’s Little India

new-heritage-trail-launched-in-singapores-little-indiaSINGAPORE: Four iconic Hindu temples and a brick-building of Mahatma Gandhi Memorial are among 40 sites that has been included in Singapore’s first official new heritage trail within the 200-year-old Little India precinct.

The new trail “goes the extra mile with specially curated thematic routes to cater to time-crunched trail-goers. It offers three “bite-sized” routes which cover different characteristics of the neighborhood, National Heritage Board (NHB) said.

This is NHB’s 16th heritage trail.

Two mosques linked to early Indian Muslim immigrants as well as Chinese and Buddhist temples are part of the 40 historic sites and 18 markers in the precinct, a tourist thorough fare of street-shops selling spices, fresh produce, flowers of Indian-origins.

Singapore’s NHB has launched the four-km heritage trail around the 200-year enclave across century-old Serangoon Road, which was laid by Indian laborers and convicts, reported The Straits Times today.

The precinct was also known as Village of Lime, or Soonambu Kambam in Tamil, now one of the fourth official language in Singapore, most spoken after English, Chinese and Malay.

From the late 1820s to about 1860, the British- established lime pits and bricks kilns along Serangoon Road served as a source of employment for many Indians.

Indians immigrants also gravitated there to work in the cattle trade.

When early Indian enclaves such as Chulia Street and High Street in the Central Business District became overcrowded in the early 20th century, many then moved to Serangoon.

“We did this to cater to the varied tastes of trail users with different time constraints,” NHB assistant chief executive for policy and community, Alvin Tan at the launch of the trail yesterday.

“We want them (visitors) to go away from their visit with a better appreciation of the precinct’s rich and multi-cultural heritage,” said Tan.

Today, the Little India precinct is popular with Indians for its variety of shops selling consumer products including gold jewelry, as well as foods, hostels and motels.–PTI

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