Last Updated on 27 January, 2022
Little India is popular with visitors to Singapore who can’t get enough of how ‘un-Singaporean’ this Indian heritage district is – Singapore’s legendary orderliness and neat grids of tall buildings give way to a more hodgepodge, bustling and colourful area of low shophouses and the perpetual scent of spices, flowers and delicious food scents in the air. In recent years, Little India has also become a prime area for murals and street art in Singapore. I’ve put together this detailed guide on where to find all the street art in Little India as you visit its popular attractions.
Updated for Artwalk Little India 2022
- Navigating Little India
- Around Tekka Centre
- Around Indian Heritage Centre
- Near Mustafa Centre
- Jalan Besar
- No Longer There
The surge in the number of works is largely thanks to the emergence of ArtWalk Little India, an annual arts festival that embeds artworks that reflect the heritage and culture of this colourful neighbourhood.
Navigating Little India
Little India is a fairly large neighbourhood that you can spend a fair amount of time walking around in. I’ve split this guide into 4 areas around major landmarks so you can see the sights while taking in the street art.
- Around Tekka Centre (red markers)
- Around Indian Heritage Centre (yellow markers)
- Around Mustafa Centre (green markers)
- Jalan Besar (purple markers)
Check out Singapore Street Art on Instagram for more places in Singapore to discover awesome street art or my embedded Google Map below. You can also check out my Singapore Street art guides for Kampong Glam, Chinatown, Bras Basah-Bugis or heartland areas like Jurong West, Tanjong Katong and Ang Mo Kio for more street art, or see my full line up of street art guides from Asia and around the world.
Around Tekka Centre
Tekka Centre has a pretty awesome hawker centre and wet market that has some cheap and good local street food – I suggest stopping by Tekka Centre to grab some lunch or take a drink
- Race Course Road – Eunice Lim
- Chander Road – Jaxton Su, Nadiah Alsagoff
- Belilios Lane – Psyfool, Yip Yew Chong, Boon
- Buffalo Road – Ts1 and Haha
Race Course Road
On the side of shophouses right behind the Little India MRT Station Exit E, near the junction with Kerbau Road
Cattleland 2 is by artist Eunice Lim created for ArtWalk Little India 2017. The work is a tribute both to the name of the nearby Kerbau (that’s a Malay word for Buffalo) Road and the reverence that Hindus place upon cattle, look closely at the traditional Indian patterns on the cattle.
This work is actually the second mural that Eunice has created for Artwalk Little India – the first piece could actually be found on the wall next to it back in 2015. I personally liked the first work but sadly it was removed the following year and the wall remains blank
In the alleyway between Shophouse 48 and 50 along Race Course Road that connects to Chander Road (closer to Race Course Road
This 20m long mural is called A Ride Through Race Course Road, showing a racehorse galloping through a crowded traditional Indian street market. It’s a visual story that tells you how this road got its name – from the nearby Farrer Park area that used to be a horse racing track. This community mural was painted by Jaxton Su with the help of migrant workers and students.
In the alleyway between Shophouse 48 and 50 along Race Course Road that connects to Chander Road (closer to Chander Road)
This large climbing Jasmine is another Artwalk Little India 2017 work called Madam Mogra, Jasmine of the City by Nadiah Alsagoff, a tribute to the sacrifices of migrant workers who come to Singapore to work for higher wages. The Jasmine represents their longing, growth and determination for their families back home.
My favourite part of the work is around the back where you’ll see a rather lifelike squatting worker in construction clothing tending to the Jasmine plant (Update: as of 2021, the wall with the worker has since become empty and only the flowers are left). You’ll notice that this is quite a busy alley despite being quite well hidden as lots of people and workers take their smoke breaks here, and there are lots of motorcycles parked here on the weekends.
Blk 668 Chander Road, Level 1 low wall at dropoff point
Don’t miss out on these cute little windows that mimic the colour scheme of the Tan Teng Niah House by Jaxton Su. Each of these windows shows a scene or scenario that you can find here in Little India. My favourite is probably the tabby cat just wandering by one of the windows. You can find them at the dropoff point of Blk 668 Chander Road, right where the open-air gantry carpark is located.
An alleyway leading behind the shophouses off Belilios Lane
Head over to busy Belilios Lane and it’s hard to miss this very large piece by Psyfool called Traditional Trades of Little India which features various Indian tradesmen that can be found in this area. There is the parrot astrologer who uses a parrot to pick fortunes, a garland maker who makes these fragrant flower chains, Kacang Puteh man who sells the street snacks, and of course the dhobis – washermen and women for which the Dhoby Ghaut area was named for!
20 Kerbau Road, Village Curry – next to the Trades artwork
Right across the road from the Trades of Little India work is a piece that might go unnoticed on the side of the wall of Village Curry. This mural is by Yip Yew Chong whose heritage works can also be found in Chinatown. This piece showcases traditional curry and prata making, as well as old school cattle farming, and even a tiny Taj Mahal window view that you can enjoy while you eat.
22 Belilios Lane, alleyway behind Aqueen Heritage Hotel
Around the corner from the Traditional Trades work is this massive wall of three peacocks by Boon aka BAKED for ArtWalk Little India 2020 titled Mayura (Sanskrit for Peacock – they appear a lot in Hindu stories as a representation of time). I love the sheer scale of these peacocks parading down the alleyway but it is also nigh impossible to get a good shot of all three of them at a go.
6 pillars of Tekka Centre on ground level facing Buffalo Road
Head over to the famous Tekka Centre and look for the entrance to the carpark along Buffalo Road – that’s where you will spot these lovely collaboration works by Singapore’s TraseOne and Australia’s Haha aka Regan Tamanui is celebration of SG50 for a project called 50 Bridges in May 2015 titled Cricket and Classical – both Indians and Aussies are huge cricket fans. I liked the Indian dancers and how they really bring out the colour and flavour of the Indian culture. Haha covered the Cricket works while TraseOne did the Indian dancers.
Around Indian Heritage Centre
The Indian Heritage Centre is a super modern and funky looking building with sharp edges and reflective surfaces, quite a large contrast to the weathered shophouses surrounding it. A very informative and interactive museum worth checking out if you want to learn more about the Indian diaspora in this part of the world. Also, it’s a great place to cool off in if the weather gets too hot outside.
- Tekka Place – Khairulddin Wahab, Jezlyn, Dem
- Upper Dickson Road – Jaba, Priyageetha
- Clive Street – Song, Ts1, Ceno2, Khairulddin Wahab
- Dickson Road – Dyn
- Perak Road – Ernest Zacharevic
- Dunlop Street – Mithra, Shah Rizzal (NEW)
2 Serangoon Road, interior of main building level 1 (near escalators / Clive Street)
This mural for ArtWalk Little India 2020 is located inside Tekka Place but the colours are quite vibrant and striking. Titled ‘Travellers‘, this mural uses lots of nature motifs and the colours and design bring to mind Indian textiles, or perhaps even something akin to batik. Khairulddin is a pretty accomplished artist and his work has a lot to do with Southeast Asian history and culture, though this looks quite different from his usual art style.
exterior of annex building (facing Sungei Road)
There is another work on the exterior of the Annex building of Tekka Place called Circles that also was installed in Artwalk Little India 2020, which is actually not a painted mural but lots of colourful metal circles layered and positioned along a curved wall. It’s supposed to reflect the energy and vibrancy of the district, though it makes me think about the sheer crowds this place sees on weekends if anything.
exterior of main building (junction of Hastings Road and Clive Street)
This work by Dem was commissioned by the Chinese channel iQiyi to promote their show The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang – the other two locations are in Chinatown and Joo Chiat. The three faces are the actors from the drama in their characters: Lawrence Wong, Qi Yuwu and Jeanette Aw. It’s pretty colourful overall which according to the description is supposed to pay tribute to the colours of the Indian saree.
Upper Dickson Road
68 Serangoon Road, at the junction with Upper Dickson Road
These Kathaka Indian dancers are not the easiest to photograph because of the location and pillars. You probably have seen Didier Mathieu aka Jaba‘s works if you’ve been to Kampong Glam – they are all over the side of Piedra Negra, although the style there is quite different from these works that he created for ArtWalk Little India 2017.
An alleyway just past Kathaka, near the junction of Serangoon Road and Upper Dickson Street
Loops of the Precious is a little bit more hidden, but you can find it in a little alleyway just past the Didier work above. This was done for ArtWalk Little India 2016 by Priyageetha d/o Diayalan. It was inspired by the artist’s grandfather who was a goldsmith, another traditional trade popular among the Indian community found in this area.
20 Clive Street, diagonally across the road from the Indian Heritage Centre
This colourful graffit-style piece called A Scent of Lights by local street artist SONG is meant to visually represent the hodgepodge of smells and sights you get in Little India, from burning incense and jasmine flowers, to glittery gold bangles and rainbow hued spices. It’s a bit more abstract but the longer you stare at it, the more you see familiar images pop up, and I love the brightness of this work – it was done for ArtWalk Little India 2019 which has a fragrance theme.
104 Dunlop Street, the cross junction of Dunlop Street and Clive Street, down the road from the Indian Heritage Centre
TraseOne’s work for ArtWalk Little India 2017 Alive @ Clive is this large colourful piece of an Indian dancer right in the middle of what feels like Little India’s busiest junction. I think it definitely captures the vibrancy of the area and is really eye catching! You’ll notice the colours and style are similar to his Cricket and Classical work along Buffalo Road done 2 years prior.
102 Dunlop Street – directly opposite Trase’s work
48 Upper Dickson Road – next to Trase’s work
This colourful work by Khai for Artwalk Little India 2021 has many typical Indian cultural activities. Not easy to get a shot of this during the day because this is such a high-traffic and narrow junction. It’s right next to Trase’s work and across the road from Ceno’s.
The green space along Dickson Road between Clive Street and Perak Road
Further down from the Upper Dickson murals, you should come across this open green space. At the time I saw it in mid 2017, there were lovely colourful buffalo statues all around this mini park and lots of people were just sitting around and enjoying the art. On the shophouse wall facing this green space is this mural by an artist called Dyn called I Am Still Here which is meant to put a face to a place that continue to hold on to traditions even in the face of modernism. She looks a little like she’s peeking out from behind those trees.
12 Perak Road, Perak Hotel behind the Verge at the junction with Mayo Street
Most of Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic’s works in Singapore are found in Kampong Glam, but you can find one of his earlier works from 2012 here at Perak Hotel – a cheeky little boy with a hundred dollar bill on a fishing line. If you have a chance to go inside the Perak Hotel, you might also be able to spot some of his other works that you can’t see from outside – check out this photo album for more.
Dunlop Street [NEW]
50 Dunlop Street, at the junction with Perak Street
This cheery mural by Mithra is her first outdoor mural and meant to bring light to our lives in the time of the pandemic. The lighting of the Indian oil lamp is meant to symbolise prosperity. I like the space theme, overall it’s a cute piece.
1 Dunlop Street, alleyway near junction with Jalan Besar
This newer work of Shah Rizzal‘s reminds me a little of the one he did on Desker Road but to a much smaller scale. This one is like shophouses on shophouses – the different types of windows are supposed to represent past and present styles, though I kinda like how the real window blends in with the rest.
Near Mustafa Centre
Break up your street art hunting by popping into the famous 24-hour Mustafa shopping centre, the perfect spot for insomniacs or anyone willing to dig a little for a good bargain as stuff here is a little cheaper than in other shopping malls in Singapore.
- Rowell Road – Wan Xiang & Chand Chandramohan (NEW)
- Desker Road – Shah Rizzal
- Baboo Lane – Jaba
- Hindoo Road – Izzad Radzali Shah, Zero
- Veerasamy Road – Song
- Serangoon Road – SKL0 + Bhajju
- Syed Alwi Road – Eunice, Slacsatu (NEW)
Rowell Road [NEW]
107 Rowell Road, Alleyway connecting Rowell Road and Desker Road, close to Jalan Besar
I’m a little sad about this mural mostly because it was painted over a personal favourite of mine (more on that in the ‘No Longer There’ section below), but The Sun Beaming pays tribute to the Hindu fortune telling by way of parrots and astrology cards which were once common sights in the area and how that’s evolved today to something a little more modern on the left.
There are a bunch of different murals located in the void deck of Blk 640 Rowell Road, where the Jalan Besar Rowell Court Resident’s Centre is, but this one by Kyerule is my favourite.
240 Serangoon Road, junction with Desker Road, next to Usman’s Restaurant
This quirky rendition of Little India called Layers by is also by Shah Rizzal for the 2018 edition of Artwalk Little India. It’s a bit different from his usual more graffiti style, but you can actually find all these buildings in this mural around Little India, so keep your eyes peeled. Note there are some dotted line silhouettes, room for more new things in future alongside the mishmash of the current day.
212 Serangoon Road, close to junction with Baboo Lane, side alley of A1 Fashion
I love this giant work by Jaba (who did Kathaka above) called Daily Delivery along Serangoon Road which is a look at the traditional tiffin business, where meals were delivered to people around the area in tiffins or stacked metal containers.
Here’s a shot of the artist in action back in 2018 – I was pretty lucky to see him at work while on the media tour for ArtWalk Little India 2018.
1 Hindoo Road, close to junction with Serangoon Road
This mural has lots of Little India elements in it, and I have to admit this kind of style isn’t my thing but it’s pretty bright and vibrant and fun.
11 Hindoo Road, close to junction with Serangoon Road, overlooking carpark
This portrait in Working Class Hero is of an iconic Tamil film star called Rajinikanth in his heyday (he’s a bit older now) who is apparently a favourite of the working class folk and meant as a tribute by notable local street artist Zero to the migrant workers living in this area. This is yet another ArtWalk Little India 2017 work.
2 Veerasamy Road, Alley on side of Tiny Island Productions
This is a really narrow alleyway so trying to take in this work from ground level or trying to get a decent picture is a bit difficult, but I love how detailed and beautiful this piece by Singaporean street artist SONG is. Weaving Through Time draws inspiration from the religious sculptures and architecture of Little India, but I love the way the graffiti style is incorporated into the piece.
Previously, this wall was home to a work called A Sailor’s Guide to Little India by A’shua Imran for ArtWalk Little India 2018, an imagined map that reflects the journeys of the people who first arrived in Little India that tells stories about their lives and encounters.
2 Veerasamy Road, Alley on side of Tiny Island Productions
This massive work is hard to miss from afar as it covers the entire side of the 7-storey Broadway Hotel (though it’s against traffic flow so you won’t see it if you are driving down Serangoon Road). A collaboration between Indian artist Bhajju Shyam and Singapore’s Samantha Lo aka SKL0 for St+art India Foundation.
Fun fact: because of the pandemic, Bhajju couldn’t come here to paint so the collab was done over Zoom and executed by SKL0. The tree is largely influenced by Bhajju who is a pretty renowned Gond artist – that’s a type of tribal Indian art from the indigenous Gond Pradhan tribe which has a lot of nature motifs and this stippling style, while the animals are a bit more reminiscent of Sam’s work.
Syed Alwi Road [NEW]
130 Syed Alwi Road, Alleyway
Eunice has done several pieces for Artwalk Little India over the years, though in this one she’s moved away from cattle and moved on to paper birds. These cranes share a similar colour scheme and Indian patterns as those works, though this one was apparently inspired by the nearby Mustafa Shopping Centre.
72 Syed Alwi Road, facing grass patch
The Bird of Paradise is perhaps my favourite work of Slac’s for Artwalk Little India 2022. This particular alphabatik style is seen a lot in his Kampong Gelam works, but this is the first version of it here in Little India. If you look closely, you’ll notice actual bird of paradise flowers mixed in with the colourful swirls.
This hipster neighbourhood is where you’ll find backpacker hostels and fancy cafes amidst a somewhat industrial area. Not quite as busy as Kampong Glam but definitely where those in the know like to hang out.
Strictly speaking, I wouldn’t consider the Jalan Besar district a part of Little India, but it’s close enough to stroll over to and there aren’t any other notable street art works in Jalan Besar to talk about, so I thought I’d include them in this guide for now.
- Plumer Road
- Horne Road
- Hamilton Road
- Tyrwhitt Road
The first three murals were commissioned by Guinness to launch their new Foreign Extra Stout and created by Illustration Studio MadebyBen.
Fun fact: Ang Ji Gao is Hokkien (a Chinese dialect) for Red Tongue Dog, the local colloquial name for Guiness Stout here in Singapore because the local distributor called Blood Wolfe had a bottle label with a wolf’s head emblem (with a panting red tongue!)
The murals can be found in 3 different streets in Jalan Besar:
If you swing over to hipster coffee joint Chye Seng Huat Hardware along Tyrwhitt Road, you might notice these fun black and white murals by Mike Herabot, visual artist and the man behind that other hip coffee joint Botanist. Collectively titled “I dreamt of a life where all was how I imagined it to be”, this is an interconnected series of 6 murals.
No Longer There
Remembering works that have since disappeared over time. That’s the beauty and tragedy about street art, you never know when it’s going to disappear!
For some reason, Artwalk Litle India has decided to paint over this wall along the pedestrian stretch between Rowell and Desker Road several times, which I personally think is a bit strange because there are SO MANY other empty walls available, because this meant several awesome works have since been lost, first being theTyke Witnes and Elmac works dating back to 2010, and then the Jaba piece from 2020.
Share your favourite street art works in Little India with me.
If you are in Singapore, you can also check out my guides for the historic districts Kampong Glam, Bras Basah-Bugis district, Chinatown, Katong-Joo Chiat or head to the residential Jurong West or Ang Mo Kio for more street art. See my full line up of street art guides from Asia and around the world.