Wai has a history similar to its district headquarters Satara. Wai is an old town having a past of over 200 years. The region dates back when the Bijapur dynasty's general Afzal Khan camped at Wai during his campaign against Shivaji. He forcibly took up residence in a mansion called Banawdikar Wada, and turned it into a 'Kutchery' or office. Banawdikar Wada was the scene of intrigues and plots on how to capture or kill Chhatrapati Shivaji, until Afzal Khan met his death at the hands of Shivaji at Pratapgad. The wada still exists in Raviwar Peth of Wai. The wada's main door is a solid wooden frame, with beautiful carvings in the fashion of the olden times. It stands as if caught in a time warp.
About 200 feet up the road from Banawdikar Wada, stands a small and nondescript, Deshpande Wada. This specialty of Deshpande Wada is that it was built by a disciple of Samarth Ramdas.
Since then Wai has transformed into a pilgrimage center with hordes of temples on the River Krishna and structures with historical importance. It is a place to be discovered leisurely on foot - a heaven for a student of history, or a heritage lover.
The Mauryas, Chalukyas, Bahmani dynasty, Rashtrakutas, Adil Shahi dynasty, Shilahar dynasty, Marathas, Peshwas, Satavahanas, Mughals and British were the rulers.
Wai is famous for its Ghats on the banks of the Krishna River and its temples.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Afzal Khan, Shende Shastri, Laxman Shastri Joshi, Narayanshastri Marathe, Savita Prabhune, Shahir Sable, Balakrishna Martand Chounde, Dada Patwardhan, Yamunabai Waikar, Rambhau Merukar, Sathe Sakharam, Madhukar Shripati Sanas, etc were the famous personalities.