Little India Penang

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Little India Penang, Georgetown Overview

Little India is a small piece of the country spread across four streets in Penang. The neighborhood captures the essence of India in its streets and is famous for its mouth watering food, streets filled with pizzazz from Bollywood songs and the shops lined up selling wares from sarees to spices.

Often referred to as Little Madras by the British, the streets of Little India in Penang are abuzz at all times of the day and night. The neighbourhood includes four main streets- the Market Street or Jalan Pasar that is the centre place for all the action, the Queen Street or Lebuh Queen, King Street or Lebuh King and Penang Street. Festivals and joyous occasions are also celebrated with as much zeal as the celebrations that are held in India.

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Sri Mariamman Temple

The Sri Mariamman Temple is an impressive structure built on the Queen Street of Little India. It was built in 1833 and is the oldest temple in Penang. The temple is dedicated to various Hindu deities and their sacred animals.
Timings: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and from 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM.

Shopping at Penang Little India

Shopping is considered a highlight of the streets of Little India. The entire neighbourhood is bursting with colours and individuals selling their wares at bargain prices.
  • One can go back home with dozens of beautifully embroidered sarees from shops like the Gayatri Shopping Centre and find mesmerising and eye catching jewellery to match right opposite the centre.
  • The smell of spices also wafts through the air and has an allure like no other.
  • Old and new Bollywood records and DVDs for movies can also be found at shops blasting Bollywood songs.
  • Another advantage for visiting Little India are its throwaway prices for foreign exchange and gold shops which are as old as 50 years. Do check the shops that can be found right beside each other, competing for the best price.

Festivals and Celebrations

Navratri: During the ten days of Navratri in September, the streets of Little India in Penang are filled with decorated chariots which even shoot arrows and start and end their journey at the Sri Mariamman Temple on Queen Street. This along with the beautiful sarees adorned by the ladies and the traditional festive atmosphere makes Little India the place to be during these 10 days.

Chitraparuvam: Celebrated for a period of three days in April or May, the annual Chitraparuvam Festival is a Tamil Festival that includes chariots drawn from the Sri Mariamman Temple. The chariot contains the deity of panchaloka deity of Lord Subramanya Swamy and stops at all the prominent temples in Penang.

How to Reach Little Indian in Penang

From the Penang Airport, take a taxi or a Rapid Bus Penang to Georgetown. From the drop off, a trishaw may cost not more than RM 1.5 or one can simply walk the distance. Little India is bordered by the Beach Street, China Street, Pitt Street and Chulia Street.

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