Though the Krishna river festival is celebrated at its fag end of the course where we live only one in a Pushkaram period or 12 years, it will be interesting to know that it is an annual affair where it originates from. Close to Mahabaleshwar where Krishna begins its course, we find the temple town of Wai at the downstream. There are over one hundred temples in the town small and big. There are seven bathing ghats and the temples near them have all become famous. The biggest is the Dyolaganapati shrine near the Ganapati Ghat. The
The biggest is the Dyolaganapati shrine near the Ganapati Ghat. The Ganesh idol here is an imposing ten-foot tall and eight foot wide, all carved from a single rock. The rear side of the temple has a huge fish sculpture built to protect the temple from the lashing waves of the Krishna and the flood waters. The temple was built by Ganapathirao Bigaji Raste in the year 1762. In front of the Ganapati temple is Kasivisweswara shrine which is also popular. The Sivalinga, as well as his vehicle Nandi here, are made out of the same stone. The annual Krishna river festival in
The annual Krishna river festival in Wai has historic significance. When the great Chatrapati Sivaji ruled the land in style, his arch rivals Bijapur Sultans wanted to bump him off. Afzal Khan left with a huge army from the vicinity of Wai. The local priest Sende Sastry who saw the movement of forces panicked and fervently prayed to the Krishna river. Soon his prayers were answered when the guerilla troops of Sivaji came out with a lightning attack to decimate the rival. As people believe that the victory over the mighty forces was possible only by the grace of Krishna river, they began the river festival and made it an annual feature.
Wai town has picturesque surroundings and has as many as six fortresses around. No wonder, it has become an important outdoor location of hundreds of Hindi films. Talking of film locales, Mahabaleshwar from where the Krishna river begins its journey, and Panchgani where Krishna is joined by Venna, Savitri or Saraswati, Koyna, and Gayatri, also have been much-coveted locations for filmmakers. An oft-seen bungalow in Hindi movies with sprawling interiors is none other than the `Dina Hotel’ here. Tourists visiting Panchgani are seen mounting ponies move around the picturesque hills and cross the streams even today.