When people in the Deccan head out for a long weekend, it’s always the same circuit of a handful of touristy places in the Western Ghats. How about a change up? Visit the Kashi of the South instead! You’ll find that whatever your pace and preference, there’s a lot to do in the town of Wai.
Make Anandvan your home base and set out to explore history at the three forts built by various dynasties, including one by Shivaji; religion at the multitude of temples in Wai; nature with camping, paragliding, boating, and hiking; and if none of these are your cup of tea, just chill at the resort.
Yes, there are over 100 temples here, which has earned the town of Wai the moniker of Dakshin Kashi, or the Benaras of the South. There are also seven ghats along the river Krishna which are worth a visit in the mornings and for evening aartis, or prayer ceremonies, at the riverside temples. The Dholya Ganpati Temple on Ganapati Aali Ghat is especially popular and crowded during religious events. Built by Ganpatrao Bhikaji Raste in 1762, its design is impressive and grand.
For nature lovers, treks to the three forts are popular and you can enjoy the lush trails and pleasant weather year round. Kamalgad, where British prisoners were executed, is the closest, but Pratapgad Fort built by Maratha ruler Shivaji, and Pandavgad Fort, built by King Bhoj II of the Shilahar Dynasty are very easy to reach, as well.
There is also water all around in these hills. You can go down to the Krishna river any time and also visit the Tapola Lake. The Dhom Dam is also close by. When you walk around, you’ll see why Wai has been the backdrop of more than 300 Hindi and Marathi feature films.
UniQ Experience –
Near the tourist havens of Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar, the quiet town of Wai boasts a boutique nature resort called Anandvan — meaning forest of peace. Spread over 2.5 acres of green, amidst coconut and mango trees, in the Sahyadri range, it really is a natural retreat
Featuring a café as well as a game centre on the premises, the resort has five different types of accommodation: suites, cottages, red brick cottages, apartments and even machaans. Each provides ample privacy with an attached garden and private parking.
Anandvan is just 500m from the Krishna river and 4km from Dhom Dam, and there are perfect views of the hillside from every spot on the property.
Thanks to their proximity to the lakes and river, the resort is pleased to offer a UniQ boating opportunity to our readers. But that’s not all you can do here. Of course, you have the option to laze around, take advantage of their sprawling lawns, and just relax.
But, wait, you don’t have to experience only the two elements of land and water: you can also go paragliding from here! The staff will help you arrange what could be the aerial view of a lifetime.
Finally, a temple tour can also be arranged, as well as picnic lunches should you wish to hike up to one of the forts or eat by the dam.
- Arrive at the resort by 14:00 hours
- Head to Dhom Dam for the first activity of the day, boating. You can also opt for scooters, power boats or group rides.
- Head back to the resort for a sumptuous meal prepared using fresh homegrown ingredients in the local style
- Rise and shine and relish an authentic Satara-style breakfast at the resort
- Trek to one of the forts with a picnic lunch
- Come back, relax and then head out for a temple tour and visit to the Krishna ghats
- Back at the resort, enjoy a bonfire and a dinner served to you fresh from the grill.
- Wake up in time for the sunrise while you sip your morning tea
- Catch a hearty breakfast amidst nature at the resort
- Walk around the resort to discover the flora & fauna
- Sign off from the trip with tons of memories to take back home
Where: V Resorts Anandvan, Wai-Jor Road, Pasarni Village, Taluka Wai, District Satara, Maharashtra 412803
How: Anandvan is a mere 235 km by road from Mumbai, 93 km from Pune. Both cities have airports if you’re flying in from somewhere else
When: Any time of the year, it’s especially beautiful in the monsoon
Exclusive offer: For UniQverse members, a bonus offer of complimentary lunch or dinner is included with the booking
Package Cost : INR 9,999/- per couple
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