Right in the centre of Kuala Lumpur is its own Little India. The husband and I were able to walk around its main street during one of our weekend afternoons which we usually spend either sightseeing within the city or furniture shopping.
Brickfields is a neighbourhood near KL Sentral station. It’s easily accessible and is a place known for good bargains (from food, grocery items, to accessories) and a good mix of modern meets traditional architecture.
Just wanted to do a quick post on this neighbourhood (which we visited after our trip to the Planetarium) and share some photos taken along the area’s main street, Jalan Tun Sambanthan:
Good to know: Flower garlands play a huge role in Hindu society. They are a must in every festival and there are certain flowers that are used for each deity. An Indian wedding will not push through as well if the bride and groom are not wearing wedding garlands. Some of the temples in India even have their own flower gardens where they can get blooms for their garlands everyday and back in the day, to be a garland maker (appointed by the king) is a huge honour!
While in Bali for our honeymoon last year, I also read that there are certain rules in making the garlands – like, you can’t let the flowers or any of the materials you are using touch the floor or be at the same level as your feet (because the garlands are for their gods, it shouldn’t be placed lower than your pelvis). Garland makers should also pick the flowers early in the morning but only after they have taken a bath. And the flower pickers should also chant to their gods while doing the picking. Pretty mystical, no?
Brickfields’ main street is populated by sari shops (which you have to check out because the clothes are just b-e-a-utiful), restaurants that serve authentic Biryani, hotels, and grocery stores where you can get the cheapest Basmati rice grains in the city. There are also shops that sell jewellery, kitchenware, Bollywood movies, and of course – incense sticks.
There are also Indian bridal shops where you can get intricate temporary tattoos on your hands and feet (using dye from a plant which they call Mehendi) like these. Indian women (and even men) undergo a mehendi ceremony a day before their wedding where the patterns are drawn onto their hands and feet. The temporary tattoos are said to bring the couple luck and a fruitful marriage.
At night, the wide sidewalk is transformed into a street-dining area similar to Jalan Alor. Monoblock chairs and plastic tables are set up by the restaurants on the street and people (a lot of tourists and local Indians) flock to this neighbourhood for a hearty, authentic Indian dinner.
I was so excited and giddy when we chanced upon this precious little shih-tzu in Brickfields. The owner was also kind enough to let me pet and coo at it for a good couple of minutes. Here in Malaysia (particularly KL), dogs are not allowed in most condos and public areas. Muslims do not like them and classified dogs as ‘dirty’. That’s one of the reasons why we decided to leave our dogs Sophie (shih-tzu) and Jack (maltese) back in Manila with my husband’s parents. We don’t want to offend or scare any of our neighbours and I’d feel bad for the dogs if they’re only cooped up inside our condo.
It was getting dark by the time we got there so our walk was pretty short (we wanted to be home early as the husband has work the next day) but there are still more places to see in the district like a Lutheran Church, a Buddhist Temple, and a traditional Malaysian house so we’ll definitely be back for those.
When visiting Brickfields, do be mindful of your belongings. It’s a pretty busy area and according to other expats, petty crime such as theft is still common there.
Back for more later.