Southall, sometimes referred to as ‘Little India’, is a small community in the West London Borough of Ealing. This lively and colourful corner of London has strong Pakistani and India roots and is home to a vibrant mix of cultures and ethnicities from around the world.
Visiting London’s ‘Little India’, with bright and colourful fabrics hanging outside shops, a sweet aroma of spices emerging from the food stalls erected beside the streets selling deliciously authentic Indian food and sweets, and women donning multi-coloured saris, all accompanied with Bhangra music filling the air, is an experience in itself.
In fact when you step foot into Southall, you immediately feel like you a million miles away from London and England.
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara
Aiding Southall’s unique identity is the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara (see image). Situated on Havelock Road, this aesthetically breath-taking temple of granite and marble is the biggest Sikh temple outside India and naturally attracts a swarm of visitors to marvel over its magnificence each year.
Shopping in Southall
If you want to pick up an item that is a world apart from the likes of Topshop, Selfridges and H&M, then ‘Little India’ is the place to find a distinctive and inimitable ‘bargain’.
Taking a trip to Southall Market on a Friday or a Saturday is definitely the best time to experience shopping in Southall, when clothes, jewellery, food, electronics, fabrics and quirky gifts of all shapes, sizes and exquisiteness are just waiting to be taken home!
Festival of Diwali
Although visiting ‘Little India’ is a culturally-enhancing spirit all the year round, perhaps the best time to visit is when the Diwali Festival is on, otherwise known as the Festival of Lights.
The Diwali Festival usually takes place in late October and early November each year, and sees a throng of Hindu, Jain and Sikh communities take to Southall’s streets to celebrate one of their biggest annual festivals.
Unique and pretty silk and jewellery can be bought during the Diwali for reasonable prices, or perhaps you would like to treat yourself to an authentic Indian Head massage, either way the festival of Diwali has to be one of London’s most ethnicity-authentic events.