LISHA aims for 5 million visitors for Little India Deepavali celebrations

Deepavali Light Up 2022

Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association (LISHA) is introducing a number of new events as part of its Deepavali celebrations, in its efforts to increase the footfall to Little India and to attract a younger crowd. The aim this year is to breach the 5 million target for the first time over the 45-day duration of the celebrations. Last year, there were around 4.8 million visitors to Little India during the celebrations.


Among the firsts are a food bazaar featuring a range of Indian dishes and a big bus tour to bring tourists to Little India.


In laying out the plans, LISHA Chairman Regunarth s/o Thiagarajan expressed concern that many young Indian Singaporeans were increasingly not visiting Little India: “Youngsters are not approaching Little India, they prefer to go to places like Orchard or the malls. Also, with a lot of Indian shops popping up in the neighbourhoods, we see fewer and fewer youngsters coming to Little India.”


Globally recognised

LISHA General Manager Abdul Raoof highlighted how in 2022 TimeOut magazine named Little India the 19th coolest neighbourhood in the world. “Which means, it’s the coolest precinct in Singapore, and LISHA is proud to be the precinct manager of the coolest neighbourhood in SG,” he added.


The Deepavali street light up will be inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong on 30 September at the open field at Birch Road. Other dignitaries who will be in attendance include Minister of State for Trade and Industry (MTI) and Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Alvin Tan, Mayor of Central Singapore District Dennis Phua, and the High Commissioners from the Australian Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan embassies.


This event, which will be followed by a live performance show by Mediacorp Vasantham, from 6.30 to 9.30 pm, will be open to the public.



LISHA is proud to be the precinct manager of the coolest neighbourhood in SG.”

– LISHA General Manager Abdul Raoof


The theme for this year’s light up will be “Radha and Krishna”. Mascots of Radha and Krishna will be present at the light up ceremony, welcoming visitors.


Tekka Raja

This year’s official mascot for the Deepavali celebrations is Tekka Raja. Tekka Raja will walk down Serangoon Road on 14 & 28 October, as well as as on 4 & 1 November, giving away Deepavali money packets and posing for photos with visitors and patrons at Little India.


Tekka Raja

Tekka Raja, LISHA’s Deepavali mascot for 2023

LISHA is also inviting the various Indian groups in Singapore to send their Deepavali greetings to the community through short, self-recorded videos, in their  respective languages and adorning the traditional ethnic outfits. The videos will be uploaded to the LISHA social media platforms and will also be broadcasted.


Deepavali celebrations – events and activities

The following is a list of the activities that LISHA has planned until 3 December, 2023:


Deepavali Food Bazaar

25 September to 11 November, 2 to 10 pm daily

Poli @ Clive Street

Food Bazaar

LISHA is organising the food bazar as part of Deepavali celebrations for the first time.

 This food bazaar will bring together a diverse range of Indian cuisines, as well as chefs and food enthusiasts.


Deepavali Street Light Up

30 September to 3 December, 6.30 to 9 pm daily

Serangoon & Race Course Road

Deepavali Light Up

The annual light up of Little India not only illuminates the whole area, but also highlights the rich traditions of the Indian community in Singapore.

A focal point of the light up this year a golden chariot with four white horses at Birch Road, which will be a photo taking opportunity.


Deepavali Festival Village

30 September to 11 November, 10 am to 11 pm daily

Campbell Lane

Deepavali Festival Village

Deepavali Festival Village is a showcase of the various handicrafts that the Indian community is known for.

Merchants along Campbell Lane will extend their shop spaces to display and sell Deepavali festive items such as traditional clothing, snacks, handicrafts and festive decorations.


Rangoli (Kolam) Workshop

7 October 2023

Tekka Place (Rooftop Pavilion)


Rangoli (Kolam) Workshop

Kolams (aka rangolis in Northern India) are creative expressions symbolising the triumph of light over darkness.

A free rangoli (kolam) workshop for tourists and visitors. Expert kolam artists will offer step-by-step guidance on the artistic and cultural aspects of kolam drawings.

Note: Attendance is limited to 50 participants.


Deepavali Treasure Hunt

14 and 28 October

Poli@Clive Street & Little India

Deepavali Treasure Hunt

Discover Little India in an adventurous way, by participating in the Deepavali Treasure Hunt.

The aim of this event is to educate tourists and the general public on Indian tradition and Deepavali. Eight stations will be spread across Little India and there will be 25 pairs of contestants each day. At each station, contestants will be given a clue relating to Indian culture or Deepavali, which they will need to solve to get to the next station. There will be officials on duty to assist. The fastest pair would win prizes.


Big Bus Tours

20 & 27 October and 3 and 11 November, 7 & 8 pm daily

Orchard, Serangoon and Race Course Road

Big Bus Tours of Little India

Four guided tours of Little India will be arranged. 

The guided trips, which will each last 45 minutes, will start at Orchard Hotel, with a pitstop at Centrepoint, and end at Race Course Road, just outside Gayathri Restaurant. Each participant will receive a $5 voucher to spend at the restaurant.


Flower-tying and decorative workshop

21 October

Tekka Place (Rooftop Pavilion)

Flower-tying and decorative workshop

Flower-tying and decorative workshop

Flower typing is a key aspect of Indian culture and the Hindu faith. Through a combination of hands-on practice, expert guidance, and insightful discussions, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of various flowers, their symbolic meanings and art of combining colours and textures to create visually pleasing garlands.


Note: Attendance is limited to 50 participants.


Deepavali Fashion Show

21 October, 6.30 to 8 pm

Campbell Lane

Deepavali Fashion Show

Deepavali Fashion Show 

Models will showcase various Indian outfits.


Deepavali Street Show

27 October, 6.30 to 8 pm

Campbell Lane

Deepavali Street Show

Deepavali Street Show will be a showcase of the cultural splendour of the Indian community in Singapore.

Curated by Mediacorp Vasantham, there will be a range of songs and dance performances along the streets of Little India.

Deepavali Live Cooking Demo (Journey with Chef Arifin)

4 November

Tekka Place

Celebrity chef Arifin

Celebrity chef Arifin is credited with various dishes of his own creation.

Celebrity chef Arifin will run a fusion Indian restaurant at Tekka Place. He will do a live cooking demo on a Deepavali festive dish. A recording of he event will be uploaded to the LISHA website and social media platforms.  


Migrant Worker Competition

19 November, 6.30 to 8 pm

Birch Road (Open Field)

Migrant Worker Competition

In the spirit of inclusiveness, every year LISHA incorporates the migrant worker community in the festivities and activities.

 Various competitions such as tug of war and rangoli drawing will be organised for members of the migrant worker community.


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