SINGAPORE – A new festival in Little India is aiming to present the lesser known sides of the popular tourist destination.

The Re-Route festival, which runs from Friday to Oct 9, comprises food walks, workshops and installations scattered throughout the area.

“I believe that Little India has a lot more to offer than what most people know it for. I notice that even for tourists, they will start at Tekka Market, walk to a temple, go to Tan Teng Niah villa to take photographs and then leave,” said Mr Mervin Tan.

He and Ms Cheryl Sim, co-founders of design studio Plus, are the brainchild behind the festival.

“So what Re-Route is trying to do is to open visitors to new experiences, new tastes and new cultures that are all in their backyard, which is why we have built installations and highlighted landmarks across the whole district.”

Six installations have been built by Plus for this festival, including a 10m-tall lookout tower in Lembu Square – an open space just off Mustafa Centre – and a 3m-tall gachapon vending machine that dispenses yoga balls mimicking giant versions of toys in capsules.

Mr Tan said the landmarks and eateries were chosen with the help of data provided by the Singapore Tourism Board.

“They gave us a heat map which showed us data of where the most and least visited spots were, so we were able to use analytics to plan where we wanted to point visitors towards.”