Little India is one particular area that covers Queen Street, Chulia Street and also Market Street in the city of George Town, Penang. It is a small territory that is managed by the local Indian community. The streets are lined with colourful shops, selling goods from India; wonderful restaurants with the aromas of varieties of spices permeating the air; the melodious sound of their music playing throughout the shops, blaring but somehow, just fits nicely into the Indian community there. Little India in George Town is said to be similar to the markets found in the major cities of India; Chennai, Mumbai and India. Just like any other places in Penang, Little India is also a great place to find delicious food and here, it is famous for the Malaysian type of Indian cuisines that are available from almost all the restaurants in the area. Little India is best to be visited during its liveliest time which is the festival times such as Deepavali, Thaipusam and even Christmas. The oldest Hindu temple in the state of Penang is also located in Little India.
Depending on traffic, the drive to Little India from George Town, Penang can take about ten minutes or more. From the city centre of Kuala Lumpur, the trip to Little India is about three and a half hours’ worth of driving via the North-South Highway and Penang Bridge.
Daily buses from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, Kuala Lumpur to Penang are available starting at RM 35 up to RM 50, depending on the bus companies and also stops. Coaches that stop at Butterworth Bus Station usually cost less as it does not cross to Penang Island. Do check the stops before buying a ticket. RapidPenang is the public bus operated by the state of Penang, with routes covering almost everywhere in the state. It also goes to Little India; just hop on a bus ‘Central Area Transit’ in George Town to there, free of charge.
Penang has its own international airport, twenty minutes south of the island. Domestic flights originate from Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Kota Bahru and even Kota Kinabalu. International flights on the other hands are mostly from Asia countries such as Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia. Fly in into Penang Island from the above location, as it is much easier and save a lot of time, especially during school holiday.
The oldest Hindu temple in Penang was built back in 1833. Even though it was built in 1833, the place had become a place of worship since 1801 before it was turned into a temple. Throughout the years, the temple has had various of names but eventually settled to as the Sri Mahamariamman or the Queen Street temple as it is located on the Queen Street. The temple has a huge collection of sculptures of the gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion over its main entrance. The temple opens daily for the public, starting from 6 am until 12 pm for the morning session, and for the evening, it is from 5 until 9 pm. The temple still holds daily prayers; morning will be at 7.30 am and evening at 6.30 pm. These prayers are usually lead by the temple priests and during the prayer times, the visitors may observe the sessions taking place. Though the temple is open to the public, it is polite to ask permission from any of the priests and also remove shoes are a must before entering the temple.
A Chinese clan house that is one of the unique attractions in town. The clan house was said to be built about 650 years ago. ‘Kongsi’ means company and here it is to show a building that is being shared with more than one family that has the same surname gather to worship their ancestors. It was built originally as a way for the 19th-century immigrants to tighten their relationship according to their respective districts in China. This kongsi opens every day from 9 am until 9 pm for the public to enjoy its magnificent architectures and history.
The hotel is located just beside Little India in a three-storey building. They offer four types of bedrooms with the standard room starts at RM 80 up until RM 150 per night for their biggest room, the Family Room B that can fit a maximum of five people. All of its rooms have a free Wi-Fi.