Chants, prayers hopes and millions of ‘bhakts’, this is the story of Wai, a small town in the Satara District in Maharashtra. Thirty-three kilometers from Satara, Wai is called the Kashi of Dakshin, probably because of its uncanny similarities to Varanasi or Kashi. Nicknamed as the “town of temples” Wai is home to over 100 temples and is famous for its ghats on the banks of Krishna River. It is also famous for its Dholya Ganapati temple on the Ganapati Ghat. Once known as the Virata Nagar, Wai was a cultural leader and a town of prominence in the Peshwa Era. Nana Phadnavis, one of the prominent Peshwas had his origins in Wai near the Menavali ghat.
Wai’s scenic beauty and amazing sights have made it a quintessential destination for film stars and producers. Prominent blockbusters like Gangajaal, Omkara, Dabangg, Swadesh, and the recently made Chennai express were all shot in Wai. So let us see why a weekend at Wai – Dakshin Kashi is something to look forward to.
6 Interesting Places to See in Wai
1. The Ghats
The Ghats at Wai is probably its most valuable asset. Located on the banks of the Krishna River, the steps at Wai are similar to that of Kashi. The ghats are also home to some important temples which heighten the beauty of these mystical places. The Wai has seven ghats on its banks, namely Gangapuri, Ganapati Aali, Madhi Aali, Dharmapuri, Brahmanshai, Bhimkund, and Ramdoh. These ghats surround many water ponds, waterfalls, and hillocks. Some of the important temples in Wai include Kaunteshwar, Chakeswar, Kaleshwar and Chimneshwar, Rameshwar and Chilavali Devi temple among many others. The ghats are definitely the beginning to an amazing weekend at Wai.
2. The Temples at Wai
As the name signifies, the town of temples Wai has a lot of temples in and around it. Most temples follow the “Hemadpanti” style of architecture, the temples are built on huge stone slabs.
The Krishna Mandir in Govardhan Sanstha is 105 years old and celebrates the Krishna Janma Ashtami with great pomp and show. The two days Jatra attracts devotees from all over the state. The Mahaganpati Temple at Wai is a famous tourist attraction and at a short distance from the Wai Resort.
The Krishnabai Utsav is celebrated on each ghat for eight days. The festival has its inception since the Shivaji reign when Shende Shastri of Wai prayed to the Krishna River for Shivaji’s victory against Afzal Khan. The locals in the area take special care of the temples and have immense devotion towards its deities. The Dholya Ganapati temple is one of the prime temples in the state and has bhakts traveling from all over the country. Ganesh Chaturthi is especially crowded. You should try going on a Ganesh Chaturthi weekend to Wai to witness the magic during the festival.
The Wakeshwar temple on the banks of Krishna river is dedicated to Lord Shiva and a great example of masterful architecture.
3. The Dhom Dam
The Dhom Dam is located 19 km from Wai. Built on the Krishna River, the Dhom Dam is one of the major places of attraction in Wai. The construction of the dam began in 1976 and was built to serve irrigation in the area. The rich deep blue waters with the picturesque beauty of the dam make it a great tourist attraction. So if you’re looking to spend a weekend at Wai, be sure to take some amazing pictures at the Dhom Dam.
4. Lohare Palpeshwar caves
Just 5 km ride to the north of Wai and 39 km from Satara, Lohare Caves are the ancient caves of this region. The caves are located in Lohare village and dedicated to Lord Shiva. Based on the ancient art of Vastushastra these caves are a must-see for its inner beauty.
5. Bandhavgarh Fort
The fort was built by Kolhapur Silahara chief Bhoja II of Panhala. From a distance, the Bandhavgarh fort looks like a square fortification of cut black stone, but we can assure you it’s a lot more than that! You can reach the fort from a footpath diverting to the north from Bhogaon in Wai. The journey to the fort can be a bit difficult but we can assure you the construction and architecture of the fort more than makes up for it.
6. Lodging at Wai
Wai is a famous tourist destination and has numerous hotels and resorts to choose from. We would recommend the Wai resort. The resort offers amazing deluxe suites and a five-star restaurant for a luxurious stay. Spread across 2.5 acres of green land the resort has ample to choose from. Dedicated private gardens and rooms are an added source of attraction. Apart from the amenities, the Wai resort is close to Dhom Dham and Bandhavgarh fort. The close proximity of these places makes the resort ideal on your weekend at Wai.
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