Phahurat, often known as Thailand's Little India, is an ethnic neighbourhood surrounding Phahurat Road in the Phra Nakhon District of Bangkok. The area that would become Phahurat was an enclave of Vietnamese immigrants who came to Siam during the reign of King Taksin (1768-1782). In 1898, a fire broke out and paved way for a road which was named "Phahurat" by King Chulalongkorn in remembrance of his daughter Princess Phahurat Manimai who had died at the age of 10.
A Sikh community settled down in the area a century ago and established a textile trading centre that is still thriving today in this market.
Visiting the market is a journey of discovery to tastes, smells and sights as if you had actually travelled to India. The majority of the merchants sell all varieties of cloth and clothing. Ornate Indian jewellery and accessories, such as sandals, abound in this market place. Neighbouring restaurants provide tastes and nibbles of Indian cuisine. But if you are just looking for a snack there are plenty of street vendors offering authentic and fragrant Indian foods.
The area extends along Chakrawat Road and farther ahead along Sampeng Lane.
Do your own walk-tour...it's enjoyable!
After you have passed the China Town, you will feel as if you are in a totally different place. Little India is colorful. I love her Sari shops and those exotic spice shops.
As part of the experience, I went to the Sihk Temple…said to be the biggest one outside India. Upon entering, I was advised to remove my shoes...as sign of respect similar to any place of worship. The place is very regal and made mostly of white marble. It has several floors. At the ground floor, there are several rooms covered with curtains. I did not venture out much even though I am very (very very) curious on how they practice their faith. I was feeling a bit out of place. Aside from the security guard, I think I am the only SE Asian inside the building.
Outside the temple, I saw a lot of beautiful Indian women. Indians fascinate me because they have lovely prominent features...beautiful dark skin, deep set eyes and high bridged-nose.
Also had my first taste of Indian food here.
Apparently, purely Hindu neighbourhoods are quite rare in Thailand as most Indians have integrated into local society. However, there are pockets of Hindu culture in this small district, with shops selling traditional Hindu costumes for Hindu ceremonies such as weddings, and also a 7-storey Sikh temple.
"Pahurat" is the biggest whole sale market of garments and giftshop products. There're many Sikh Indians living in this area. You will find Saree in almost every shop. Here is also the place where brides to be come to shop for their wedding cards, thank you-gifts, wedding gowns too. Around here there're many hindu shrines as well.
Walking in those little and crowded Soi with loads of people is very challenging as sometimes the motorbikes full of fabrics share your walking lane!
Whole sale market here is great. Most of smaller shops in Bangkok they buy products from here to resell them again. (last time I got ear rings at 5 Baht a pair! which usually sold at 20 Baht)
This is supposedly the second largest Sikh temple outside of India and is located in the Phahurat area which is also known as Little India.