Travel Company WALKER
- Abudelauri Lakes
Shatili is a historic highland village in Georgia, near the border with Chechnya. It is located on the northern slope of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, in the historical Georgian province of Upper Khevsureti, which is now part of the modern-day region of Mtskheta-Mtianeti.
Located in the deep Arghuni gorge at approximately 1,400 meters, the village is actually a unique complex of medieval-to-early modern fortresses and fortified dwellings of stone and mortar, which functioned both as a residential area and as a fortress guarding the north-eastern outskirts of the country. The fortress consists of the terraced structures dominated by flat-roofed dwellings and some 60 towers which cluster together to create a single chain of fortifications.
Unique architectural methods and thought are realized in Shatili: selection of location, development of the land with complicated relief, rational land tenure, multi-functionalism, vertical zoning of construction, optimal orientation.
Both single monuments and the overall urban structure with their characteristic components (towers, residential complexes, sowing, chapels) are of special importance.
Mutso is incredibly beautiful fortress standing on the high rocky hill at the elevation of 1880m. It takes short but steep ascent of 20 minutes to admire the best views, panoramas of the surrounding green, steep mountains and river gorge and sacred shrines where people still leave offerings. If you happen to be in this part of Khevsureti, don’t miss Mutso, even if you don’t have a car with you and it will take you 3 hours walk from Shatili. According to a legend villagers – Khevsurs of Shetekauri family, who courageously built this tower in such a steep rock that it the government programs are not able to help the preservation of this magnificent site- worshiped the Broliskalo Icon of Archangel. They were renowned as fighters and hunters, and considered themselves permanent members of the army of the sacred flags and guardians of fabulous treasury donated to the Icon over the centuries. The legends say the treasury that is still kept in the high mountains around Mutso waiting for the chosen one to come.
Khevsureti is another beautiful highland region of Georgia. Its villages Shatili, Arkhoti and Mutso were defensive towns, which is obvious by their impressive towers. Khevsurians are expert cattle-breeders, so their main diet is meat. Their most delicious meal is ‘Khinkali’, a boiled meat dumpling, which is now popular in all the regions of Georgia.
On the rocky slopes of Khevsureti, aurochs still wander. To hunt them takes a great deal of skill, since they are most difficult to chase. If one does manage to catch them, their meat is most delicious and rare. Khevsureti is also famous for its poetry lovers. Poetry festivals are frequently held, and, most of the participants can create the finest poetic samples spontaneously. Georgians are not the only people interested in preserving this prettiest of regions in its primordial form. The World Bank financed a major project to protect and preserve historical Shatili buildings, for future generations of Georgians and their guests.
The road to Khevsureti turns northeast off the Georgian Military Highway shortly before the Zhinvali Reservoir and runs up the Pshavis Aragvi valley towards the mountain gavel road. You need jeep 4x4WD to drive to Barisakho and Shatili. There are simple local guesthouses providing overnight accommodation and fresh local food.
A Magical, mysterious place, home of Khevsuretian Gods, with a view to a spectacular Chiukhi Mountain, The Abudelauri lakes are situated in far north of the eastern part of Caucasus Mountains at an altitude of 2500m in alpine zones at the foot of the Chiukhi Massif. Lots of legends and myths are connected to these lakes. The Abudelauri lakes are of transitive colors: one is colorless (green in photos, due to its surroundings) where you can camp, the second is blue and very beautiful and the last one is white like milk- due to glacier – from the white lake newborn river starts. The trek to the lakes does not involve lots of energy and time if you only want to visit the lakes.
Easy Walk: From Village Roshka 6-7km (max. 2 hours walk) to the first two lakes and then extra half an hour to reach the white lake.
Real Hiking (difficulty: moderate): From Juta (Kazbegi district) 8-hours walk across the Chiukhi pass (around 3,400). This option is only for experienced hikers and might be a great option if you plan your trip from Kazbegi to Khevsureti. In this case you can avoid transportation costs.
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