Colorful Little India is a three-street community in already eclectic Georgetown that envelops visitors with the sights and sounds of a small street in Mumbai. On Jalan Pasar (Market Street), colorful storefronts scrawled in Brahmi script blare Hindi melodies. The community is of the oldest Indian enclaves in Malaysia and dates to the earliest British settlements of Georgetown in the late 1700s.
Wind through the narrow streets and you’ll find sari and cotton clothing shops, wedding florists, Bollywood posters and DVDs, spice merchants, gold jewelers and an abundance of eateries with popular Indian favorites such as roti, briyani rice and tandoori chicken as well as Malaysian Indian fusion cuisine. On nearby Jalan Bandar, the Sri Mahamariammam Temple, built in 1883 in the ornate and towering South Indian style, it is the oldest Hindu temple in Penang. The area really comes alive during Indian holidays such as Deepavali (Diwali) festival of lights each autumn.
Little India is within the Penang Heritage Zone, a UNESCO-designated site, in Georgetown, the capital of Penang, Malaysia. Georgetown is located on the Island of Penang Palau and is connected to the mainland by bridges. Though Little India is not strictly confined, the main streets are Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Ah Quee and Jalan Pasar. The region is walkable (it’s also fun to take a trishaw) and is reachable by bus from other parts of Georgetown—the nearest stop is outside Opps Yap Temple. The Penang Hop-On Hop-Off Tourist Bus also stops here, as do a number of other Georgetown tours.