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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Tour the temples and havelis of old Jaipur

Join Jaipur locals for early morning temple visits and have tea with families in their historic havelis…

By Akshat Mathur
Operations Head, Virasat Experiences

On this Jaipur walking tour, you’ll join locals for early-morning temple visits and have tea with families in their historic havelis. The trip is led by one of our trained explorers and is up to three hours long but we can organise a rickshaw if you’d prefer not to walk. As we wander the streets of the walled city we sample street food to keep you fuelled up, from samosas to katori chaat and sweets. Jaipur is unique because it was the first planned city in India and many artists and craftsmen were invited to settle here; so, every street is named after a particular handicraft.

Jaipur is known as a city of temples, it has over 2,000 in just a four-by-seven-kilometre area. Most lie within private houses but the public will come to worship in the morning. We’ve picked some beautiful temples to see. One is Gopinath, which is a very lively place with lots of singing and dancing that guests like to join in with. At the temples you’ll see ladies singing hymns, gossiping about their daughters-in-law and the soaps on TV – it’s a real insight into daily Jaipur life.

We have the privilege of visiting around six havelis in the city too, thanks to the families we have connections with. You’ll be invited in for tea and a chat about life in Jaipur. Every house has a long history behind it, with a courtyard at its centre for meals and celebrations. Architecture-wise, the houses are a mix of Bengali, Mughal and Hindu design and usually have their own temples with intricate frescoes. Often, guests make connections with family and stay in touch, it’s a great opportunity to build a relationship with locals.

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Alfred & Akshat Mathur

Akshat Muthur quit his banking job in 2009 to dedicate his life to heritage work in India. Passionate about preserving Jaipur’s havelis and history, he encourages restoration in the city and has a detailed knowledge of Jaipur’s traditions, history, culture and architecture. Akshat shares his passion through creating heritage walks and experiential tours with local people through Virasat Experiences.
Akshat Mathur, guide for temples and havelis of old Jaipur