Wai is a town in the Satara district and a short drive from Mahabaleshwar. This weekend getaway is truly unique. Wai makes our list of favourite vacation spots in Maharashtra to visit in the summer.
Wai has more than a hundred temples and is also known as Dakshin Kashi or the holy city ‘Kashi of the South’. It was home to many prominent families who served in the courts of kings of many dynasties past. This led to the construction of architecturally rich structures, popularly temples. Because of its historic beauty and location on the banks of the river Krishna, Wai is a popular destination for Marathi cinema shoots. And yes, a tourist destination too.
Walk the streets of Wai and enter the doorway of ancient beauty.
If you are a history buff or just someone seeking a unique experience, you must visit Wai once to enjoy this distinctive weekend getaway.
Here are a few activities for you to enjoy in Wai.
- Visit the famous square-shaped Pandavgad Fort located at a height of 4,177 feet above sea level. This fort was constructed with cut black stones way back in the 15th century to honour a Sanskrit poet.
- Marvel at the historical building of Menawali Wes located on a ghat that overlooks the Krishna River. One can peacefully gaze at the gentle flow of the Krishna River from the seating area around the ghat.
- Explore Rajpuri caves, a landmark of historical and spiritual value. The caves’ entrance is decorated by both ancient artists and local priests. There is a natural water source and several small ponds around the caves, various carvings of Hindu deities. And these caves were used as a shelter by the Pandavas when they were in exile.
- Overlooking the Purandar fort is the Kalubai Temple. It is dedicated to the goddess Kaleshwari and was built by a devotee some 400 years ago. The temple was built in a way to overlook the fort and provide it with divine protection from evil.
- Take in the Buddhist architecture of Wai caves. It is a network of nine interconnected caves famous for its architectural planning completely aligned with Vastu Shastra. These caves are an excellent example of how ancient craftsmen but this beautiful structure without tools of measurement.
- Picnic at Harrison Folly, open land with no vegetation growth. Or the Dhom Dam, a gravity dam to take in the calm of nature and also enjoy various exhilarating activities.
- Visit the Vairatgad Fort, a serene example of ancient artistry that dates back to the 11th century. This fort was once home to a bustling market and was destroyed twice in ancient wars. Today, archaeology enthusiasts and history buffs beeline to this wonderful site just to get a glimpse into the past.
- Seek blessings at Dholya Ganpati, one of the most famous temples or the Kashi Vishweshwar Temple. They are both located on the Ganpati Ghat.
- Enjoy the serene atmosphere of the well-preserved Nana Phadnavis Wada that was built in 1742. Take a guided tour through the royal corridors and manicured gardens of a bygone era.
We have been to Mahabaleshwar several times but somehow missed out on Wai. In the course of our research for this blog, we were amazed that a historical town was this close to us and we could explore in a weekend!
Wai is next on our list of unique places in Maharashtra one must definitely visit. And we are headed there. How about you?