Blessed enough to have so many spots for a quick getaway, Pune is that one metropolitan city which really does have it all. With the surge of MNCs and IT Parks, the sedentary but high-earning lifestyle calls for some peace amidst mother nature. And what better way than to leave the city and head over to some neighboring villages for some quiet time?
Located roughly 90 km from Pune, Wai is a perfect village to escape to for some time off. It has historical and religious significances, and apart from the several temples and rich Peshwa history, Wai also has some amazing activities for the entire family.
Most popularly known as the temple town, Wai has the epithetic name ‘Dakshin Kashi’, which means Kashi of the South. Why? Simply because Wai has more than a hundred temples, the most popular and recognizable one being the temple of Mandhradevi Kalubai. This temple is more than 400 years old.
The Dholya Ganpati temple is also located here on the Ganpati Ghat. Most of the temples here follow the Hemadpanthi style of architecture, which involves using huge stone slabs without mortar; this can be seen in another renowned temple – the Kashi Vishweshwar temple.
Wai was also knwon as Viraatnagri; it is believed that the Pandavas resided with King Viraat of Wai when they were in exile.
Historically, Wai has a lot of significance as well. It was extremely prominent during the times of the Peshwas; two important Maratha Brahmin families originated from Wai – Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi (Tambe family) and Gopikabai, wife of Nanasaheb Peshwa (Raste family). The rest as they say, is history. Also, the 17thcentury warlord Afzal Khan made his first stop at Wai on his way to visit Shivaji Maharaj. In 2005, a cache of 105 guns, swords, and other weapons were found in Wai.
Due to these significances, a number of Marathi and Bollywood films have been filmed here, the most noteworthy names being Bajirao Mastani, Swades, Gangajaal, and Singham. This attracts loads of tourists from the country throughout the year, which is why tourism in Wai is particularly high these days.
Several activities keep people engaged and you definitely need to experience them. You can go trekking at the nearby Kamalgad Fort, and rappelling and stargazing once you’re there.
One must explore the authentic Maharashtrian cuisine in Wai! Shopping is another highlight of this place, as high bargaining margins for local and handmade goods tempt most of the tourists. Make sure you check out the local bazaars in the village. And of course, how can we forget; make sure to stop by the Mapro Food Park on your way back!
So, people, gather your bunch and plan a quick weekend getaway trip from Pune this coming weekend! Don’t forget to tag us in your pictures!
Feature image by @sraviteja