Monday 7 December: Gateway the desert state of Rajasthan the 'pink city' is a relatively clean state capital. Built by warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II, the old Mughal walled city is entered through great pink gateways revealing the busy streets and bustling bazaars.
The city icon is the Palace of Wind or Hawa Mahal but the weird looking ancient observatory, is more interesting and, a short bus ride away, the honey-coloured Amber Fort is far more spectacular. Jal Mahal set in the lake is also a pretty picture.
Wednesday 9 December: A prohibition on alcohol, kissing and non-vegetarian food, even eggs, makes Pushkar sound a little uninviting. But, with numerous temples clustered around the sacred lake it is a pleasantly pedestrian, laid-back centre of Hindu pilgrimage with a nice feel to it.
Wedding season celebrations bring the streets alive with brass bands and fireworks right into the early hours but the drought conditions make for a dry lake and less picturesque views - imagine cool blue water! Hotel Everest is pleasant enough with reasonable en-suites and a rooftop restaurant with a panoramic view.
Jaipur and Pushkur photos.