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| Last Updated:: 04/03/2022











Wai town in Satara District, Maharashtra is located on the Krishna River. It was a town of some prominence in the days of the Peshwas. Wai is also called Viraat nagari as it is believed that the Pandavas resided with King Viraat of Wai when they were on exile. 



Wai has the epithetic name "Dakshin Kashi" (Kashi or Varanasi of the South) because of the city's more than 100 temples. Wai is known in Maharashtra for its ghats on the banks of the Krishna River and its temples. Most of them are constructed in the Hemadpanthi style of architecture which uses huge stone slabs and without mortar. 







The most well-known temple here is the Dholya Ganapati Temple on the banks of the river Krishna on Ganapati Aali Ghat. Known for its design and grandeur, it was built in 1762 by Ganpatrao Bhikaji Raste. 



The temple built in the Hemadpanti architecture was built to protect the town of Wai, from any sort calamity and from enemy attacks. The temple gets its name from the size of the deity, which measures to 10 ft in height and 8 ft in width. Dholya in translation means huge, hence the temple is called Dholya Ganapati. The Ganesh idol here is considered ‘jagrut’ just as the Siddhivinayak in Mumbai. 



Next to the Ganesh Temple is the Shiva Temple - Kashi-Vishweshwar. It is said that the Nandi here is made out of same stone from which Shiv-Linga is made. 



By the side, some idols & a Shiv-Linga is kept in a make-shift area. These idols are actually from Ganakeshwar Temple, which got submerged below Dhom Dam backwaters when the Dam was made operational. 




Mandhradevi Kalubai Temple 





Perched on a hill at 4650 ft above sea level, is the temple dedicated to Mandhardevi. According to local legends the temple s believed to be more than 400 years old, and was built during Shivaji's rule, but there is no fixed date ascertained to the construction of the temple. Devotees attribute miraculous powers to a grove which is around the shrine. The temple overlooks the beautiful Purandar Fort. 



The temple is popular among Hindus who undertake the annual Kalubai Jatra pilgrimage over a ten-day period every January. The main event is a 24-hour-long festival on the day of the full moon. The goddess is offered puran poli (a sweet) and curd rice. The religious event usually draws more than 300,000 devotees. 




Wai Caves 




There are 9 caves located at Lohare town just 7 km away of Wai. These caves were associated to Buddhism, but now many sections of the caves have been converted to a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Chaitya hall contains Stupa has since been converted into a Shiva temple.