How to reach:
Get on to Delhi Metro from anywhere in Delhi and get down at Akshardham Metro station (blue line). This station is approximately 100 meters away from the entry to Akshardham temple.
One can always hire a taxi or an Auto (3-wheel open air vehicle) to get to this place. Approximate fare from Connaught palace (a much known, center place in Delhi) to temple would cost around INR 300-400 by taxi and INR 100-150 by Auto respectively.
All the information regarding the timings, various exhibition, musical fountain, food court etc can be found at following location:
How we saw Akshardham:
This is the way I, along with my wife, have planned our trip to temple. I found out that it was one of the best way to visit this place.
We reached Akshardham temple at 4:00 PM on Sunday evening. It took us around 15 minutes to park our car. There is nominal fee of INR 20 for parking a car. Two-wheeler parking would cost INR 10.
Mobile phones, umbrella, ladies handheld purse etc are strictly prohibited in temple complex. Although, there are cloak rooms available to deposit these items but I feel it would be just waste of time as there are long queues for using cloak room services. It is advisable to leave these items in car or at home before starting. One can carry water bottle into the temple complex.
There are separate queues for male and female to enter into temple complex. Just before entering the complex there would be through checking of personal belongings by temple authorities. Generally, one needs to empty their pocket into a tray, take off belt, cap, and sunglasses. After security checks, one is free to roam around in complex.
It took us around 15-20 minutes to clear the security checks and enter the complex. As we walked a few steps inside premises, we passed by Ten Gates, Bhakti Dwar, Mayur Dwar & Footprints. Each of these sites has beautiful carving. We spent around 10 minutes each at these sites.
As we were at Footprints, we could see Akshardham main monument on our right hand side. It is very beautiful to look at. Sculpture work is breath-taking. Before we made our way to main complex, we went on to see exhibitions available at Akshardham. While walking from Footprints to main complex, exhibitions comes on left hand side. They have three exhibition halls:
1. Hall-1: Sahajanand Darshan Hall of values Time: 50 mins
2. Hall-2: Neelkanth Darshan Giant Screen Theater Time: 40 mins
3. Hall-3: Sanskruti Vihar Boat Ride Time: 15 mins
There is INR 170 fee for the entire three exhibitions combined which can be purchased on-the-spot from the counter easily visible while at Footprints. Just for information, tickets for musical fountain, that is not a part of exhibitions, can also be purchased from the same counter with INR 30. It is advisable to pay INR 200 (INR 170 + INR 30) for exhibition as well as musical fountain at one time only. It saves time as well as energy.
There was waiting-time for 45 minutes at Hall-1 and one has to be in queue till the turn comes. We were in queue by 5:10 PM. There is nice sitting arrangement while one is in queue. The best way to utilize this time is by buying some refreshment and relaxing which was what we did.
For all these exhibitions, language used was Hindi hence individual not familiar with this language might not fully enjoy these exhibitions. Nonetheless, these exhibitions are worth visiting once as they are visually very appealing.
It was close to 7:30 PM, when we were done all the three exhibitions. It was a very good experience indeed. We munched on some snacks before proceeding to musical fountain arena. The timing for first show of musical fountain was 8:00 PM when we visited. Musical fountain was preceded with Aarti (Aarti is a Hindi language word meaning Hindu religious ritual of worship, a form of puja (Prayer), in which light from wicks soaked in ghee (purified butter) or camphor is offered to one or more deities. Incidentally, my beautiful wife’s name is also Aarti).
The lights at the arena were dimmed and there began musical fountain which was also very pleasing as the rest of the experience at the temple.
By 8:30 PM, we were done with musical fountain and proceed to main complex. It was good idea to postpone the visit to main complex till the end as it was little hot and was very crowded during the day time. Around 9:00 PM, when we entered the main complex, there were few people around. One can have some peaceful time inside the main complex around this time. We took a round around the temple. There were huge doors, beautiful carvings, idols sculpted on the walls and a box containing few things belonging to Swaminarayan in whose remembrance this temple is built.
I forgot to mention that while we were done with musical fountain and walking towards the main complex, we passed by the only photographer in the complex. We had our photograph taken at this place by paying INR 130. They charge a little more for a framed photograph. I would recommend having a photograph clicked as this would be the only remembrance that one would take back home.
Afterwards, we decided to call it a day. On the way out, we passed by cafeteria full with people enjoying their dinner. Right next to cafeteria is the Souvenir shop. One can put aside some time to visit this shop. Some books, ayurvedic medicine, incense/joss sticks etc are available at the shop.
Everything inside the temple is at reasonable price. Water bottles can be carried everywhere inside the complex.
It was really wonderful being there at the temple. It had a very soothing effect on us.