It is a place where the early immigrants and merchants from India congregated and did their thriving businesses at a time when tin mining emerged as an important industry in the Kinta Valley. The majority of them were Nattukkotai Chettiars from South India. They came as free people, having paid their own passage, unlike those brought into the country by the British to work in the plantation and construction sectors who were bound by contract.
The exodus of the Chettiars returning to India occurred in 1957 when Malaya obtained its Independence from the British. Most of the Chettiars took their money and went home. Those that stayed behind were those who were educated and saw a future for themselves. While this may have been the case in the past, today the ethnic Tamils from South India no longer stay solely segregated in one place. Most of them, particularly the younger generation, are now scattered all over the city.