Trekking Caucasus mountains
Trekking Caucasus mountains is great challenge for everyone. Depending on your abilities and skills, you can make choice between dozens of treks. During this tour we will cover 3 most important sites of Georgia: Shatili tower village and Mutso in the North East, Kazbegi Region with mount Kazbegi 5047m, Village Juta with Chaukhi Mountain range and Svaneti Region, with hundreds of towers and dozens of Highest peaks: Shkhara 5201m, Janga 5059m, Ushba 4710m.
Khevsureti, actually part of the region, lays on the other side of Caucasus ridge. There was time when when these hardly accessible mountains were settled by brave warrior tribes-_Khevsurs and Pshavs (Khevsuri and Pshaveli in Georgian).
Many times, kings of Georgia, when lowland was invaded by enemies, found shelter here. And not only kings, there was evident migration from lowland regions to mountains as it was safer place than Kartli or Kakheti. Due to the harsh climate (winter in some places for 9 month) and terrain, local societies gone through natural survival process, only tough, strong personalities could survive here. Thus Khevsurs were best fighters and personal guard of King Irakli was formed by them.
Khevsurs with Pshavi people still practice specific type of religion which which is mixture of pagan and Christian traditions. Celebrations take place at the end of July and those who are interested in traditions, religion and mythology will find a lot interesting in Khevsur worship and sacrificial.
While the major part of Khevsureti (Bude Khevsureti) situated on the Southern slope of Caucasus ridge, region is extended beyond this division line occupying several gorges (Piraketa, Migmakhevi, Shatili and Arkhoti).
Unfortunately not so much survived from the Southern side, but we are lucky as still have Shatili tower village. Mutso tower complex and Ardoti village on the Northern side. Exact dates of construction of these villages isn’t known. Information about Khevsureti is very limited.
Shatili tower village is on the tentative list of UNESCO.
Shatili is the only tower village where tower was not only stronghold but permanent residential place as well. Situation slightly different at Mutso, where towers were used only in Summer and they had winter houses as well as during the winter season there wasn’t danger of enemy assault from the North.
Khevsurs were best fighters as I mentioned before. Shatili was last stronghold of Georgia which fell under Russian control years later of occupation of Georgia in 19th century.