Karikal Lane

Karikal Lane refers to two short stretches of road, one off East Coast Road and the other branching off the first.1

Karikal was a French territory in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu on the Coromandel Coast.2 Karikal Lane was named in 1930 at a meeting of municipal commissioners,3 with the name taken from the nearby Karikal Mahal (Karikal Palace) on Karikal Road, which has since been expunged.The Karikal Mahal was one of the grandest private houses built in the 1920s.5

Karikal Mahal was built by Moona Kadir Sultan, a wealthy Indian cattle merchant and prominent member of the Indian and Ceylonese communities in Singapore during his time. He named the villa after his birthplace in India.6  Kadir Sultan bought the land in 1917 and erected his mansion in 1920 at a cost of $500,000.7 In 1947, the mansion was converted into the Grand Hotel.The building remains standing today almost in its original form at the junction of Still Road South and St Patrick’s Road.9

Japanese Occupation
On 17 February 1942, at the start of the Japanese Occupation (1942–45), the Japanese ordered European internees to march from the Padang to Karikal Mahal, where they were interned for around two weeks. During their time at the Karikal Mahal, the internees produced 14 issues of a newssheet known as the Karikal Chronicle.10

Karikal Road used to run parallel to Karikal Lane and the two roads were connected to each other forming a rectangular enclosure.11 However, as a result of developments following land reclamation, Karikal Road was expunged and became an extension of Still Road.12

Naidu Ratnala Thulaja

1. OneMap, accessed 14 June 2016.
2. Peter K. G. Dunlop, Street Names of Singapore (Singapore: Who’s Who Publishing, 2000), 169 (Call no. RSING 959.57 DUN-[HIS]); Victor R. Savage and Brenda S. A. Yeoh, Singapore Street Names: A Study of Toponymics (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2013), 205. (Call no. RSING 915.9570014 SAV-[TRA])
3. “Singapore Road Names,” Straits Times, 12 August 1930, 20; “Municipal Action, Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884–1942), 14 June 1930, 12. (From NewspaperSG)
4. Jackie Sam, “Katong,” Singapore Monitor, 16 December 1984, 6 (From NewspaperSG); Savage and Yeoh, Singapore Street Names, 205.
5. Norman Edwards and Peter Keys, Singapore: A Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places (Singapore: Times Books International, 1988), 302–3. (Call no. RSING 915.957 EDW-[TRA])
6. Sam, “Katong”; “The Legion of Honour,” Straits Times, 9 March 1925, 11. (From NewspaperSG)
7. Tay Suan Chiang, “Marked for Preservation,” Straits Times, 17 January 2009, 93; Sam, “Katong.”
8. “Page 4 Advertisements Column 3,” Straits Times, 7 April 1947, 4. (From NewspaperSG); Savage and Yeoh, Singapore Street Names, 205.
9. Tay, “Marked for Preservation”; Edwards and Keys, Guide to Buildings, Streets, Places, 302–3; Crystal Chan, “Deserted But Still Grand,” Straits Times, 13 November 2004, 15. (From NewspaperSG)
10. C. M. Turnbull, Dateline Singapore: 150 Years of the Straits Times (Singapore: Times Editions for Singapore Press Holdings, 1995), 121 (Call no. RSING 079.5957 TUR); Bernice Archer, The Internment of Western Civilians under the Japanese, 1941–1945: A Patchwork of Internment (London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004), 105. (Call no. R 940.53170952 ARC-[WAR])
11. Survey Department, Singapore, Singapore: Guide and Street Directory (Singapore: Survey Department, 1961), 75. (Call no. RSING 959.57 SSD)
12. Sam, “Katong.”

The information in this article is valid as of 2016 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.



Heritage and Culture
Street names--Singapore
Streets and Places