In the 19th century, it had a sizable North Indian community, as did the area surrounding Penang Road. The North Indians community living in the area built two places of worship in the area, namely the Sri Kunj Bihari Temple on Penang Road and the Benggali Mosque on Leith Street. Argyll Road itself was once called Lorong Benggali.
The dominance of the North Indian character was eroded towards the fourth quarter of the 19th century, as mining activities helped create an influx of Chinese immigrants into George Town. Although not all are involved in tin mining, many penniless immigrants arrived to provide auxiliary services.
Argyll Road is known in Penang Hokkien as Bang3ga1li1 Hang33 (Traditional Chinese: 萬葛里巷, Simplified Chinese: 万葛里巷) meaning "Bengali Alley". Incidentally, the Hokkiens in Penang do not differentiate North Indians by their different states. Anybody arriving in Penang from the port of Calcutta was termed Bang3ga14 while those arriving from the port of Madras is Keh1leng3na1.
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