Dartlo Tusheti 1

Dartlo flowers 2

Jeep-tour in Tusheti

Tusheti sheltered in the basin of the two Alazani is divided into four communities: Pirikiti, Gometsari, Tsovata and Chaghma. The first three communities are divided from one another with high mountains. Pirikiti community is located in the Pirikiti Alazani gorge, and Gometsari and Tsovata communities are located in the Gometsari Alazani gorge. Chaghma community is located in the basin where the two Alazanis meet. The communities of Gometsari and Chaghma occupy more woody area. The community of Tsovata and particularly, that of Pirikiti are located in the inter-mountain narrow areas, surrounded by severe and snowy mountain peaks with no wood growing on them and covered with alpine pastures.

The nature of Pirikiti is severe like all the villages here. Dartlo is a very beautiful village of Pirikiti. It is located in the middle of the gorge sheltered under inaccessible Dano and Kvavlo. There is a chain of villages and sites of ancient villages running along the west of Dartlo: Chesho, Parsma, Girevi, Dakiurta, Hegho, Chontio. The village of Hegho at the point where the river Larovnis Tskali flows into the Alazani was devastated the earliest among the other villages. The houses in Pirikiti community are distinguished for their smart and trim strongholds and churches built with float stone with fence roofs erected high in the sky. Girevi is now the village of Tusheti of the highest elevation. It is situated at 2400 meters above sea level. Earlier it was the village of Chontio occupying the highest elevation. Now it stands with its devastated houses scattered on the mountain slopes at 2550 meters above sea level. Between the villages there are sentry fortresses looking down from the mountain slopes.

Villages and the sites of ancient villages sheltered on the mountain slopes and rocks like eagle nests adorn Gometsari gorge. Those villages are: Bochorna, Dochu, Beghela, Jvarboseli, Verkhovani, Dadikurta, Iliurta, Vakisdziri, Alisgori, Koklata, Vestmo, Vestomta, Goglurta and others. Many of them have survived as ruins only. The sites of ancient villages in Tsovata are worth mentioning. Tsovata basin itself is isolated formed by the basin where the Tsovata Tskali and Alazani head meet each other. The territory of Tsovata in Gometsari starts at the village of Verkhovani. The first site of ancient village of Tsaro is followed by Mozarta and then, by Indurta, Sagirta, Etelta. These villages with heroic past standing in ruins now are a sad view.

The beautiful villages of the community of Chaghma are relatively full of life: Omalo, Shenako and Diklo. These villages are densely populated what has been caused by small land areas on the one hand, and by the fear of the enemies’ invasions, on the other hand. The villages are quite distanced from one another and in gravest historical times,they communicated to one another via sentry fortresses. The way across the gorge in Tusheti runs from Dagestan only, with all other approaches being the saddle-shaped depressions on the mountain ridges with narrow paths suitable for horse riding only. Abanosseri pass is an exception where a motorway running across the gorge of the river Stori was built quite long ago.

The passes are open for travel only during the summer season (from the end of May to October or November). Mountains of Tusheti are crossed by several passes. There is Sakorne pass (2835 m) on the main ridge connecting Kaheti (Pankisi Gorge) to Gometsari starting points; Samkinvrostsveri (3176 m), also connecting Tusheti to Pankisi Gorge; Abanosseri (2992 m), connected to Kaheti from the Khiso Alazani through the Stori gorge. There is a pass with the same name (3431 m) on Hatsunta Mountain connecting Pirikita Khevsureti (gorge of the river Arghuni) to Pirikita Tusheti. The gorge of the Pirikita Alazani is linked to neighboring Chechnya-Ingushetia with four passes: Tebulo (3342 m), Ukerecho (3023 m), Kerigo (3120 m), Kachu (3552 m). The passes of watershed Makratela mountain of Pirikita and Gometsari – Larovani (3317 m) and Nakle-Kholi (2903 m) connect Pirikiti and Gometsari, and Abebisghele (3168 m) connects Pirikiti and Tsovata.

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