The city of Pune offers many local attractions from heritage sites to entertainment joints. It is also the ideal town to plan weekend getaways, with many one day tourist places and hill stations available nearby. The weather forecast is promising for those itching to get away from the city. Cloudy skies and light showers can be a great time to break away from mundane weekend activities, for a romantic drive or an adventure trip to the hills! If you are worried about how to get this done in just one day, simply read on.
Photo Courtesy : Solarisgirl
Wai - Quintessentially Quaint
A lesser known one day tourist place near Pune, is the postcard town of Wai. This small town in Sitara district, is the first stop en-route to the bigger and more famous hill stations such as Panchgani and Mahabaleshwara and is an ideal monsoon spot near Pune.
Wai, as a weekend getaway from Pune has much to offer. A place of immense cultural and historical importance, of rivers and temples and lush beauty that begins here and seems to go on forever. As cinema buffs may be aware, Wai is also popular for the film shoots that have taken place here. Film shootings at Wai come as no surprise, especially since this monsoon spot near Pune, sports an enhanced cover of green after the rains. In fact, chances are you may run into your favourite stars here!
Also known by the name of 'Dakshin Kashi' in the past, the place attracts religious tourists for the many festivals that are celebrated with much pomp and glory across temples dotting the ghats of the Krishna River. Temples here dating a few 100 years old, will allow you to relax and soak in the old world charm.
Photo Courtesy: Weshall Jadhav
Explore the Lohare Palpeshwar Caves, which is situated at a mere 5 km north of Wai. Touted as a great example of architecture as per Vastu Shastra, these ancient caves also carry strong Buddhist influences. Today, many sections of the caves have been converted to a temple for Lord Shiva. Along similar lines, is another set of caves called Pandavgad. As the name suggests, natives claim that the caves were used by the Pandavas and that one can even see the footprint of Bheem here. Rather interesting for all mythology lovers.
In keeping with the popularity these hills hold for Eco-tourism, a visit to the 110-year-old Goshala (Govardhan Sanstha) is a must, for they have more than cows. In fact, the Goshala has to its credit, a pioneering model to generate electricity by converting what they have in plenty - cow dung to bio-gas.
Getting here: The Pune to Wai route has no direct trains. Travellers choosing rail transport, have to first head to the Wathar station in Satara and hire a taxi to proceed to Wai. However, private Volvo buses and cabs can be taken from various pick up points in the city.
It is ideal to get here by bike or car. Pune to Wai distance is 88 km and a 1 hr and 40 mins journey on the NH4.
Staying here: Wai is popular as a one-day tourist place and hence has limited options for stay. Locals recommend Sanai Residency for three star experience and Sailee lodge for budget travel. You can also check hotels in Panchgani for more options.
Food: Wai has some good restaurants, but they have better bakeries! You must visit the popular Kismat Bakery on Mazgaon road for yummy cakes and other delightful bakery treats.