Wai is one of the lesser travelled hill station and tourist place in Maharashtra. This small town in Satara district is a town of temples. It has more than 100 temples. This uniqueness has given Wai an expressive name called “Dakshin Kashi” (Varanasi of the south). Wai as a weekend getaway has much to offer in terms of its historical importance and the beauty of the town.
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Get accommodated at a local house
There’s no better experience than having a stay at one of the houses of the locals. You get to experience their culture and tradition first hand. The price is budget-friendly. Since Wai is developing in tourism, there are options in resorts and hotels at reasonable prices.
Savor the local cuisine in Wai
Why not try some local food and get a complete experience of their culture? When choosing a homestay at a local’s place, there’s the benefit of getting to taste some local cuisine. While hiking to the forts, you can see some adivasi houses where you can try out authentic Marathi cuisine.
Get a sight of the temple
Wai has a lot to offer when it comes to temples. It’s most renowned temple is the “Dholya Ganapati temple” which is centuries old and situated at Ganapati Aali Ghat. There’s the Vishweshwara temple dedicated to Lord Shiva which is famous for its beautiful stonework.
Hike to forts
If you’re an adventure junkie who loves hiking, then Wai is the best place to be. Kamalgad fort which is near Dhom dam is one of the highest hill forts and a favourite trekking destination. The highest point of the fort is a rock carved well also called “Kavechi vihir”. The fort is a Maratha fort where the army of Shivaji Maharaj used to reside.
There are nine Buddhist caves, situated at Lonara. These caves offer various artifacts on the walls and a Shiva temple which was earlier a Chaitya hall that contained a stupa. The Lohare Palpeshwar caves are a prime example of art and ancient Vastu shastra.
Strawberry farm visit
As locals have their own fields, strawberries grow in abundance at Wai. Not many people are well aware of the fact that the strawberries found at Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani are actually grown in Wai and then exported there. Visit the farms with the permission of the locals, you can pick out a few strawberries or buy them for your home.
One of the attractions of Wai, the Dhom lake is a famous spot where many Bollywood movies have been shot. It’s great to do some fishing by the lake. One can pitch their tents here for a while and do some barbecue and relax. Swimming is also allowed in Dhom lake except during the monsoons.
Walk to Mahabaleshwar
Mahabaleshwar is just besides Wai. One can hike over there. It’s an hour hike from Dhom lake to old Mahabaleshwar where people can go to Elephant point or Cat point to get a great view of the surrounding scenery. While coming down to Wai, taxis are easily available or you can take a hiking route to come back.
Nana Phadnavis wada
If you’re in Wai then you should walk through the corridors of Nana Phadnavis wada that belongs to the Peshwas of the Maratha sultanate. The Wada is in Menawali and was built in 1780 and still remains in its original condition. It has six courtyards, two temples and a ghat that leads to Krishna river.
Timing: 9 am – 5 pm
Buy a souvenir
Any travel to a location is incomplete without a long-lasting memory. What’s a better memory than a souvenir from the very place itself? Wai has local artists who carve rocks into beautiful sculptures as well. One can buy tribal art pieces from locals shops.
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