Istana open to public for Deepavali celebrations on Nov 12; features live performances, activity booths, guided tours

This marks President Tharman’s first Istana Open House as the ninth President of Singapore.

Janella Ching

Will give you my Disney+ password if you promise to watch the shows I recommend.

Published: 10 November 2023, 9:49 AM

Live performances, activity booths and guided tours are what visitors can expect at the Istana Open House on Sunday (Nov 12), in celebration of Deepavali.

The festivities will be held from 8.30am to 6pm.

Throughout the day, visitors can catch instrument, dance and band performances by student groups from Bukit Timah Primary School, Yishun Secondary School, St. Margaret’s School and the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA); as well as the Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society and Team Fusion.

Award-winning flautists Ghanavenothan Retnam and Tan Qing Lun will perform a fusion of Indian and Chinese classical music from 5pm to 5.30pm.

Activity booths featuring henna art, candle making and balloon sculpting will also be available for visitors to enjoy.

Guided tours of the Istana main building will be conducted from 9.30am to 5pm and will depart in 30-minute intervals. Those taking the tour can view selected function rooms and take a detailed look at the collection of state gifts presented to Singapore leaders.

Self-guided tours are also available for visitors who would prefer those instead.

The guided tour will cost $4 per adult and $2 per child aged four to 12 for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents (PRs), while the self-guided tour will cost $2 per pax. Both tours are free for children below four.

Visitors interested in the Istana’s flora and fauna may opt for the Nature Guided Tour conducted from 10am to 4pm. Each tour is limited to 15 people per group and will depart every hour. It costs $4 for Singapore citizens and PRs, and $2 for children aged four to 12.

There will also be food stalls and a food truck, as well as merchandise booths with limited-edition Istana souvenirs and President’s Challenge souvenirs.

This year’s Deepavali Istana Open House is President Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s first since he was elected.

Entry to the Istana grounds is free for Singapore citizens and permanent residents. Other visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of $10 per adult and $2 per child aged four to 12 years old.

Only cashless payments via credit card, debit card or QR code will be accepted. All proceeds from the entrance into the Istana grounds, tours and booths will go towards charities supported by the President’s Challenge.

Visitors may enter the Istana grounds through the Main Gate at Orchard Road, located near Dhoby Ghaut MRT station.

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