Many priest-like guys will ask for money, just avoid them. Stay away from them. Best darshan is when you are in the queue. Do not expect darshan in front unless you can dish out thousands of bucks and have a very solid approach from some big shot. I am a Hindu, love and respect my religion but corruption prevails to ruin some experiences. Prasad is not offered to Deity, rather a priest throws some out of your box in a container beneath the table, adds back some to your box, and returns your box of sweets to you. All this is common in highly commercialized Hindu temples.
Darshan time depends on day and occasion. We went on a Thursday around 5 pm. Darshan queue moved quickly and within 20 minutes we came out.
The spice & dry grocery shops around are good. No doubt the pickles, poppadum/papad and spices are very good. The only consistent good experience from the place! Temple is accessible from a broad lane, huge number of dharamshalas & hotels. Old Dharamshalas are in bad condition, some under refurbishment. Room rent was too high for rooms that did not have any ventilation or had bathroom wall not up to the ceiling. Local’s [shopkeepers,property managers, people walking around] attitude can ruin your mood. It is a pilgrimage with not much transparency in information about facilities in accommodations and its types. We decided to walk-in, see ourselves and book for one night. Most managers were rude to answer any question and one wanted us to book without showing us the room.
The “filthy rich” have ensured the area, lanes and conditions outside the temple complex are filthy. Beggars ranging from 2-3 years old girls to old ladies surround you in front of the temple and in streets. Piles and piles of dirt, rubbish along side every street was a common sight. We saw crushed rats and lizards lying in open inside and outside a property and no one took heed for hours. These big shots clearly do not feel accountable for their property condition or maintenance and property manager/staff they have hired.
Never had such a dark experience of any place in my country. I hope this message reaches the “rich owners and baba’s devotess”.