|After spending the day yesterday just relaxing, this morning we got another local vehicle (without AC) for the five hour trip to the holy city of Pushkar. Our backpacks were lashed to the top of the SUV and then we bounced and sweated along backroads and thru villages for about an hour and a half until we came to a four-lane toll highway, after which the driver was able to pick up speed and we actually got a breeze coming thru the open windows. We stopped along the way at the "A-1 Plaza" for a cold drink and then were on our way again. It was a little more relaxing on the four-lane highway since we weren't constantly dodging on-coming vehicles and animals as we did on the local roads. As we continued on our way we saw rain clouds in the distance and commented to our tour leader and driver that we should perhaps cover our bags...........our driver said "there is a nil chance of rain" and kept on driving. We had to make an unscheduled stop to cover our packs with a tarp as it started to rain shortly thereafter......our driver was obviously just a little unenthusiastic when we mentioned it the first time. He should have just covered the bags before we left Castle Bijaipur in the first place. We left the four-lane highway and were back on local roads again, dodging traffic and animals once more, making our way thru the city of Ajmer and then up over a pass on Snake Mountain coming down the other side into the lakeside town of Pushkar. Legend has it that the lake was made by Brahma who dropped a lotus flower into the desert and created a sin-purifying lake, the Brahma Mandir, thus the holy place of Pushkar was born. There are two hilltops on either side of the town on which the temples Saivitri Mandir and Gayitri Mandir are located. This town is totally vegetarian and "does not allow meat or alcohol or drugs", however, there seems to be a black market for the alcohol as hard liquor was available in the back rooms in some of the shops. Our tour leader Raj advised that there was an underground for drugs as well, so perhaps Pushkar isn't as holy as they make it out to be.