SINGAPORE: The National Heritage Board (NHB) launched its first official heritage trail of Little India on Tuesday (Jan 24), featuring more than 40 sites and 18 heritage markers along the 4km trail.
Previously, visitors could learn more about the 200-year-old precinct through heritage markers by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), and there are walking tours organised by various groups. NHB said 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 neighbourhood.
The three routes are: Serangoon in the 1900s, a 40-minute walk to learn the early communities that settled in the area; Walk of Faiths, an hour-long walk that highlights Little India's various places of worship and Shop Till You Drop, a 30-minute route that passes by traditional retail businesses in the district.
Among the landmarks featured are the Abdul Gafoor Mosque and the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. The latter was built following a visit by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1950.
Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. (Image courtesy of National Heritage Board)
This is NHB's 16th heritage trail. It will also be the first to make use of bluetooth technology to provide more information about the landmarks. Bluetooth beacons will be installed on the heritage markers along the trail and visitors can use their mobile devices to access more information or view photos that are shared by previous trail-goers.
It will also help users identify other heritage markers that are close by, NHB said.
“These improvements will enable users to enjoy trail content that has been customised to appeal to more specific interests as well as to retrieve additional trail content with greater ease,” said Mr Alvin Tan, NHB’s assistant chief executive of policy and community.
Little India Arcade. (Image courtesy of National Heritage Board)
He added that NHB will gather feedback on the use of technology for this heritage trail before implementing it at the other existing trails.