One of two South Asian enclaves in Kuala Lumpur—the other, also known as Little India, is in Brickfields—this Little India sits conveniently near Chinatown, making the pair an easy destination for food tours. Set around Jalan Masjid India (Indian Mosque Street), this bustling district offers rewards from markets and sari stores to eateries.
You don’t need a tour to soak up the atmosphere in downtown Kuala Lumpur and, needless to say, there’s no entrance fee to Little India. It’s often a quick photo stop on Kuala Lumpur orientation tours.
However, if discovering Kuala Lumpur’s diverse cuisine is on your to-do list—and it should be—then a food tour that explores the Indian food on offer either here or in Brickfields is a must. You’ll cover more ground than you would independently, head straight to the good stuff, and taste more than you’d be able to taste outside the food-tour context.
Things to Know Before You Go
- No visit to Kuala Lumpur is complete without discovering the city’s delicious Indian food.
- From saris to spices, Little India is retail therapy writ large—bring cash.
- The Little India in Brickfields is larger than the Little India on Jalan Masjid India, but Jalan Masjid India is more central. Whether to visit one or both is up to you.
- Chettinad cooking, from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is big in this Little India, both in street eateries and more formal restaurants.
How to Get There
Jalan Masjid India is conveniently placed in the heart of town, within easy walking distance of Chinatown and the Central Market. If you’re coming from elsewhere in Kuala Lumpur, hop on a Light Rail Transit (LRT) train to Masjid Jamek. The station connects lines 3, 4, and 5 (Ampang, Sri Petaling, and Kelana Jaya, respectively).
When to Get There
Little India can be visited at any time of day but is particularly charming early in the evening when the night market on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is in full flow. To enjoy the best breads, particularly the area’s signature roti canai, come in the morning, as these are primarily breakfast snacks.
Kuala Lumpur’s Multicultural Food
It was Chinese miners who founded the city of Kuala Lumpur, during a tin boom in the 19th century. Ever since its inception, under British colonial forces, the city has been a mixture of South Asian, Chinese, and Malay influences. Besides classically Indian food, look out for Malay Indian fusions known as “Mamak” when touring LIttle India.