Similar to Tusheti
, Another remote and hardly accessible, but at the same time very interesting and authentic mountainous region of is Khevsureti.
Khevsureti (a land of valleys) is a historical-ethnographic region in eastern Georgia.
Comprising of the small river valleys of the Migmakhevi, Shatili, Arkhoti and the Aragvi, the province borders with Chechnya and is included in the present-day Dusheti Municipality, Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. Khevsureti, with the area of approximately1050 km², is traversed by the main crest of the Greater Caucasus Range, dividing the province in two unequal parts. Pirikita Khevsureti and while Piraketa Khevsureti. The largest villages are Barisakho and Shatili.
Like other mountainous areas of Georgia, Khevsureti is characterized by a great diversity of traditions and customs. Khevsurs speak a local dialect of the Georgian language that resembles the literary Georgian of the Middle Ages and retain many of their ancient traditions including elements of folk ritual. The institution of the Blood feud was still alive in the twentieth century.
Khevsureti is famous for its medieval ballads and folk music.
Their religion of Khevsureti is a unique mixture of Georgian Orthodox Christianity and pre-Christian cults. They worship sacred places locally known as salotsavi. Aside from their religious character, these were the sites where the locals discussed and decided common matters such as raids against enemies, peace-making, appeals of various characters, etc. Even during the Soviet period, with its harsh restrictions against any religious activities, each year the Georgian highlanders gathered with a group of elder priests and performed their traditional rituals.
Keep in mind, due to its remoteness and high mountain pass Khevsureti can be accessed by land transport only in summertime, from May till late October (depending on amount of snow). Also keep in mind that roads are in bad condition and often get closed for short times due to landslides and for maintenance. The region can only be accessed by 4WD vehicles.
Some restrictions and recommendations:
- Pork meat is not allowed in the territory of Khevsureti
- Ladies are not allowed to go near the holy places (local places of worship)
- In general, Khevsurs are mountain people who highly appreciate their traditions and also respect and love guests, in return they ask for similar respect.
ROUTE MAP (ONE WAY)