Wai has the epithetic name "Dakshin Kashi". In old times, it was known as Virat Nagari. Wai is known in Maharashtra for its ghats on the banks of the Krishna River and its temples, including especially the "Dholya Ganapati" temple on the "Ganapati Ghat".
Wai is also famous for film shootings (Hindi, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Tamil etc.). Films like Gangajal, Omkara, Dabbang, Swadesh, Ishqiya, Singham, Deool, Bol Bachchan, Zila Ghaziabad, Gulaab Gang, Chennai Express and many others.
Wai is located at 17°56′N73°53′E / 17.94°N 73.88°E / 17.94; 73.88, approximately 35 km north of the city of satara (Devanagari: satara). It has an average elevation of 718 metres (2355 feet). It is surrounded by the mountainous region of the Sahyādris; ("Dhom Dam" has been constructed in the vicinity of Wai). The boundaries of the taluka (sub-district) called Wai are as follows- to the east of Wai are the talukas of Khandala and Koregaon, to the west lies the taluke of Mahabaleshwar, the northern border abuts the Pune district and the north-west border is shared with the district of Raigad. South of Wai are the taluka of Jawali Taluka and Satara. The headquarters of the taluke of Wai is the city by the same name, populated by about 25,000 people. Wai is 35 km. from Satara, 95 km. from Pune, 250 km. from Mumbai. Wai is situated on the Mahad-Pandharpur State Highway. Wai is a major city on the way to the hill stations like Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani.
According to 2001 census in India, Wai then had a population of 31,090. Males constituted 51% of the population, and females, 49%. Literacy in Wai was 77%, (which is higher than the national average of 59.5%), male and female literacy being 81% and 73%, respectively. As of 2001, 11% of the population was under 6 years of age.
In this small city people of various religions are staying together. Pradnya Path Shala (Devanagari: प्राज्ञ पाठशाला) and the Marāthi encyclopedia, Vishwakosh (Devanagari: विश्वकोश), the two well-known institutions in Maharashtra are based in Wai. Organisations include Prateek theater.
An 105 years old Govardhan Sanstha (GoshalaA) celebrates Shri Krishna Janma Ashtami (Gokul Ashtami)
There are 7 ghats on the bank of river Krishna: Gangapuri, Madhi Aali, Ganpati Aali, Dharmapuri, Brahmanshahi, Ramdoh Aali and Bhimkund Aali.
"Krishnabai Utsav" is the main festival in Wai. When Afzal Khan set out from Wai to kill Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, one Shendye Shāstri from Wai had prayed to the Krishna river for chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj's victory.and the tradition of celebrating the festival of river began. Krishnabai festival is celebrated on each ghat for 4 to 8 days. The same festival is also celebrated in the nearby town of Karad.
Wai has been a film-shooting location. Films like 22 June 1897, Omkara, Mrutyudand, Swades, Gangājal, Dabangg and Gulaab Gang are shot in Wai and the nearby villages. like Dhom, Bavdhan, Chikhli, Menvali, Bhuinj, Pachwad & the surroundings of Dhom, Balakwadi, Jambhali & Nagewadi dams. The annual fairs, Yatras /Jatras are started with the Yatra of Mahalaxmi of Bhuinj, Jamb, Kikli & Belmachi on Dassraa. There are famous Yatras in the Wai taluka that is Mandhardevi, Bagad of Bavdhan, Kavathe & Kalambhe .
The west Wai taluka is surrounded by the Water of Dhom & Balakwadi dams, so the villages of this area are very small because this villages are transferred to another places due to the building of Dams. Dhom, Tasgaon, Aasgaon, Wyahli, Dhawli, Dahyat, Jor, Golewadi, Golegaon, Ulumb are the major villages which are transferred due flooding from the dam.
Nearly 16 km from Wai there is village called Borgoan, in middle of Dhom dam and Balkawdi dam. Four water falls is the uniqueness that makes this place gorgeous. There people drink natural water that come from falls by 12 months. There is early festival (Jatra) for two days, people come from all over Maharashtra to celebrate these tow days.
New English School Boagoan is the famous school in the west region of Wai located in same village called Borgoan. Film done by Sujay Dahake on based on novel that written by Milind Bokil "Shala"http://www.shalacinema.com/ the shooting has been done in this school.
Due to the large number of temples and its architecture, Wai is also called as 'a town of temples'and also known as 'DAKSHIN KAASHI'. Temples built in the "Hemādpanti" style of architecture, including the following three, are located in and around Wai. Use of huge stone slabs is the major characteristic of Hemādpanti architecture.
There are four temples Chakreshwar, Chimneshwar, Kaunteshwar/Harihareshwar and Kaleshwar near Brahmanshahi ghat. At Govardhan Sanstha there is Krishna Mandir. Near Brhmanshahi there are Vitthal and Ganpati temples. Ramdoh ghat has Rameshwar temple, Ramkund and Chilavali Devi temple. On Gangapuri ghat there is Lord Shiva, Dwarka, Bahiroba, Dattatray Temple. On Ganpati Aali that there is Ganpati temple and Kashi Vishveshvar temple. In Dharma Puri there are Lord Vishnu temple and Mahalaxmi temple. Rokdoba temple (maruti) is built by Ramdas Swami. Dholya Ganpati temple is one of the prime temples in Maharashtra. The idol of Lord Ganesh is extremely big and is situated on the beautiful ghats of river Krishna. there is hanuman mandir situated near mahaganpati ghat.vhyahali village also famous in wai.
Sanjivani Computers, Wai is leading Computer Training Institute in Wai since 1997. Certificate to Degree Programms are available in this Institute.
Kamandlu Panchakrushi Madhyamik Vidhyalay (Asare)
Govt ITI wai is running under PPP scheme of central govt. Producing skilled worker of different trade for industry is main aim of ITI. At ITI Wai different schemes of Govt. are running successfully like craftsman training scheme. Training, career & Placement cell TCPC is main salient feature of this institute.
A training center for weaving silk garments run by the state government is located between Wai and Pānchgani.
Paga Talim - Here Afjal khan had kept his horses, when came to Wai. Locals of Wai had helped Afjal khan & provided this place to use. They have also given other information to Afjal khan about the Mahabaleshwar forest & area around it.
Dholya Ganpati Mandir- This temple is built by Raste in 18th Century on the bank of River Krishna, Wai is the first holy place of The pilgrims on Krishna, the people have known Wai as "Dakshin Kashi". There are also 7 Ghats on the Krishna's bank.
Govardhan Sanstha (Goshala)-This is about 110 years old Goshala where lots of cows are kept. The institute has launched a pioneer model project of electricity generation from cowdung. The motto of institute is not only cow is sacred, she is useful in all aspects.
Kashi Vishweshwar Mandir- This is very old temple of Lord Shiva, the main feature of this temple is the nandi made by the same stone from which the idol of Mahaganapati was made, & this Nandi was decorated by the garlands & other jewellery, also there is a pendol made by stone & on which design is very beautiful.
Krishna Ghat- Threre are lots of temples on Ghat.
Dhom & Dhom Balakwadi dam:- Dhom Dam is situated on the Krishna & Kamandalu river with capacity of 14 T.M.C,& The Balakwadi dam is 19 km from Wai also built on Krishna capacity is 4.08 TMC.have very great natural climate.
Wakeshwar- This is the "Hemadpanthi" type Temple of lord shiva situated in the village Bavdhan on the bank of krishna river having very good natural surroundings.
Bhadreshwar-The temple of Mahadev Bhadreshwar in the Krishana river on the Wai-Surur road.
Sonjai- This is the temple of Goddess Sonjai & Kaleshwari on the hills of Sonjai in the Village Bavdhan. This hill are the main stream of the Sahyadries, the height of this hills are at about 2000 ft.
Menawali- The birthplace of Nana Phadanvis, the administrator of the Peshwai, The famous palace of Nana is in the menawali.
Veruli & Palpeshwar- "Veruli" is the hill station near WAI MIDC In palpeshwr there are historical caves
Mandhardevi- The temple of Goddess Kalubai, the plateau of Mandhardevi is as high as Tableland of Pachgani.
Pandavgad- north side of Wai via Shelarwadi, known for pandava-caves, pandava's foot print of Bhim,
Lohare Palpeshwar Caves-It is 5 km north of Wai and 39 km from satara. This is example of Art. This is cave of God Shiv. This is very old caves of the region. This cave is tremendous example of the anacient VASTUSHASTRA. Situated in the village LOHARE, near MIDC Wai.
Kamalgad- It is ten miles (16 km) west of Wai and 32 km from Satara, this fort is situated in the middle of Dhom dam.
DhundiVinayak Ganpati Mandir- This is the temple of Ganpati of the 11th century. this is very old temple of the region.
Bhiravnath Mandir Kikali - via Bhuinj and Chandan Vandan Fort-This temple is tremendous example of the ancient VASTUSHASTRA. situated in the village KIKALI, near Bhuinj at about 15 km from Wai.
Raste Wada in Motibag is an ancient wada to visit.
Laxmibai Wada in Bavdhan- This is the birthplace of the Queen of Jhansi Rani Laxmibai's mother. Very big palace in the Village Bavdhan. Also there are a caves in the hill of PachiDeval, dug by the Pandavas during there Vanvaas.
Wind Power Mill in Surur- This is a new planted project in Shambhu Mahadev mountain range.
Mission Hospital is the oldest Hospital in Wai.
Yelmar hospital ( Dr.Balasaheb and Dr.Sumit yelmar)
Geetanjali Hospital and I.C.U, includes a diagnostic and CT Scan Center(First CT Scan Center in and around Wai; an ISO:9001-2000 certified hospital)
Late Kisan Mahadev Veer - Great Freedom fighter, an aide of Krantisinh Nana Patil, played significant role in Patri Sarkar, Worked in Satyashodhak Chalaval. He was follower of Mahatma Gandhiji. He was MLA of Wai constitution and founder of Janata Shikshan Sanstha. Kisan Veer Mahavidhylay(Wai), 8-9 high school are the branches of Janata shikshan sanstha. He was also the founder of Kisan Veer Sugar Factory (Bhuinj) for the farmers of Wai. Due to his above social work he got various awards & main Chowk of Wai was named after him.
Late Shankarrao Jejurikar- Freedom fighter, strong follower of Mahatma Gadhiji. Gandhiji has given name GAURAM(GAU- Gautam, RA-Ram, M- Mohamad) to his elder son. He was also participated in Patrisarkar of Nana Patil. He was strong believer of equality & hence he has followed BHAI dharma, due to inequality culture of Hindu(Vaidik)Dharma. Due to his social work he has awarded with DALIT MITRA award by Govt. of Maharashtra. He was staying at Jejurikar colony wai.
late. Ra. na chavan - freedom fighter, author of several books. He was impressed by Sant Tukaram Maharaj poems, Mahatma Jyotiba phule's books like SHETAKARYANCHA aasud. He was strong follower of Maharshi Vithal Ramji Shinde and good friend of Tarktirth Lakshman shiastri Joshi. MAharashtra govt has published is editorial as book, like "Parivartnachi kshiteje", "Ra Na Chavan SAMGRA VANGMAY" etc. Govt of maharashtra has awarded Padm bhushan, Dalit Mitra.
Mr. Afzal Pathan the well known cricketer of Satara District who is also the first "Ranji Player" of Satara District. He was a great fast bowler with Super Pace and played with some of the legendary stars of Indian cricket team like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and many others. He has also been felicitated by MCA by honouring many big awards and also served as Selector of Maharashtra State team.
late B.G. Shirke : B G Shirke was born on August 1, 1918 in a village called Pasarni near Wai, a small town in Satara District of old Bombay Presidency. His father was Govindrao Sadashiv Shirke. He belonged to the Shirke clan, famous in Maratta history from the end of the 15th century. Chhatrapati Shivaji's wife Soyrabai whom he married in 1650 belonged to the Shirke clan. B G Shirke's mother came from the historic Mohite family in Sarkalwadi, a small hamlet in Koregaon Taluka in Satara District. After completing his primary education at Pasarni village and secondary education at Wai, B G Shirke went to Fergusson College in Pune in June 1936 for his college education. After passing the inter-science examination in March 1939, he joined the famous Pune Engineering College in June 1939. This college had produced outstanding engineers like Bharatratna Sir M Vishweshwaryya, Dewan Bahadur Godbole, and Dewan Bahadur Vartak. Sir M Vishwesharayya became Shirke's hero for a life time. He passed his BE (Civil) in June 1943. He has opened one Maratha Sangathan & trust with his mother's name. He was giving scholarship to poor students in Khandala & wai tahshil for their education. aspxhttp://shirkegroup.com/home.aspx