Little India is more charismatic and well-preserved than the other districts and differs the most from its origins as a European and Eurasian enclave. In addition to the country homes that were built, a racecourse took up roots on what is now Farrer Park. Once the Indian-run brick kilns began to operate here, the Indian population really took off but they were not here willingly. Since 1825, Indian convicts were transferred to Singapore to build the buildings that you see today. By 1840 there were over 1,000 prisoners slaving away, and today migrant Tamil and Bangladeshi men labor on the island in the tens of thousands. The area really became an Indian cultural center when a Jewish-Indian businessman started farming buffalo in the area, drawing even more Indian workers.
The best way to experience the sensory overload of winding roads, colorful spice shops, and fortune-telling parrots that is Little India is on a trishaw, a three-wheeled cycle rickshaw. From the comfort of your carriage you can whiz past the vibrant textiles and carpets of Arab Street to the Sultan Mosque in Kampong Glam, Singapore's Muslim center. This mosque is the heart of the Muslim faith in Singapore and is known by its golden domes. Not to be left behind, the mosque utilizes modern technology to sync prayer times in its various halls. The Malay Heritage Center is a great place to learn about Malay culture in this restored former royal istana (palace).