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Wai Ganpati Temple – Dholaya Wai Ganesh Temple in Maharashtra

The Wai Ganpati Temple, located at Wai in Maharashtra, is famous for a tall and massive Ganesha murti. The murti of Ganesh at Wai is more than 2 meters tall and is lovingly called Dholya or massive Ganesha. The imposing unique Shikhara of this Mahaganpati temple is another major attraction on the Krishna River ghat on the banks of which the temple is located.

Murti of Wai Ganpati

  • The murti is more than 2 meters tall and is in sitting posture.
  • The murti has four hands. The upper left-hand holds noose and the upper right-hand holds an axe. The lower left-hand holds a book and the lower right-hand holds modak.
  • The murti has a cheerful face and it radiates childlike innocence.
  • The murti is brightly painted.
  • The Gabhara (sanctum sanctorum) is 10 square meters and on the western end of the Gabhara on a pedestal with a stone background sits the huge murti of Lord Ganesha. 

History of Wai Ganpati Temple

The temple was constructed by Ganapatrao Bhikaji Raste in 1762 AD by spending 150,000 rupees (today this amount to more than 10 million rupees). The temple consists of the Gabhara and the spacious Sabhamandapa. 

Unusual and Unique Shikara of Ganpati Temple

The 25-meter-tall Shikhara of the Wai Ganpati Temple is noted for its grooved ornamentation and resembles curved roof tiles. The Shikhara is covered with lime plaster and painted. The structural logic behind the unusually massive Shikhara is to protect it from the Krishna river currents.

The projecting bands and the grooves of the Shikara design are carried from the base all the way to the top, which is surmounted by an inverted lotus shape design.

There are four Upashikaras (minor shikhara) at the four corners of the main shaft.

The Shikara is also constructed in such a way that it protects the temple from river current. The arrangement of the angular walls on the western side is further strengthened by the massive Shikara which by its volume alone provides adequate counterbalance to prevent the onslaught of the strong river currents.

The Sabhamadapa or Hall of Wai Mahaganpati Temple

 The sabhamandapa is 20 meters long, 13 meters wide and about 5 meters high. Three arched openings on the east and five opening each on the south and north provide access to this hall. The arched openings are 3 meters tall and 1.75 meters wide.

The hall has eight pillars and the ceiling is flat. The ceiling is constructed by using an interesting interlocking arrangement of stones fitted in lime concrete.

There are no important sculptural decorations. But there is a boat like conical form facing the Krishna River current.

Religious discussion, pujas, rituals are held in the sabhamandapa. The Vasant Vyakhyan Mela and similar programs are held on the Ganpati ghat in front of the temple.

Dakshin Kashi Wai in Satara in Maharashtra - Temples and Ghats at Wai