Geographical Conditions

Tusheti is located beyond the Main Ridge of Caucasioni, on its Northern slope, between the latitudes 42°32´-42°22´ North and longitudes 63°17´-63°22´ East. The elevation of Tusheti from the sea level is 1650-4493 meters, the region occupies about 896 square kilometers of area and has the shape of an irregular pentahedral depression, with its southern-eastern axis reaching 40 km in length and 25 km in width. The climate is cold here and belongs to Apline Climatic Zone. Average annual temperature is 5°C (average temperature in July is about 13-15°C). Annual precipitation amounts to approximately 450-900 mm and the precipitation mainly falls as snow.

Tusheti is bordered by Dagestan in the east, Pshav-Khevsureti in the west, Chechnya-Ingushetia in the north and Eastern Kaheti in the south. Tusheti is bordered with watershed high ridges with the height of 3000-4500 meters. Among them, the most gorgeous is northern ridge with its high peaks: Tebulo Mount (4492 m), Komito (4261 m), Dano Mount (4174 m) and Diklosmta (4285 m). These peaks make Tusketi Alp, dividing it from Chechnya-Ingushetia. The inner Tusheti is covered with ravines, including Pirikiti Kedi, directed from the heads of Amugo and both Alazani rivers to south-east dividing Tusheti into two gorges of Pirikiti Gorge in the north and Gometseri Gorge in the south. There are narrow footpaths over Pirikiti Gorge connecting the two gorges. These are the paths of Larovani (3317 m) (from Larovani Gorge to the Alazani source) and Nakle-Kholi (2903 m).

The whole surface of this mountainous corner is covered with ravines with rapid flows from the high mountain peaks flowing into two big rivers of Tusheti – the Gometseri Alazani and Pirikiti Alazani. The Gometseri Alazani heads in Borbalo Mountain (3134 m) and flows fast to east. At the village of Gogrula, the Ortskali flows into the Gometsari Alazani and Chanchakhovani Tskali flows into it at the village of Khakhabo. Pirikita Alazani flows from Amugo Mountain (3839 m). At the site of ancient village of Hegho, the Larovani Tskali flows into it and the river flows north-east, in parallel to the Gometsari Alazani. On its way, it is flown by the waters from Tusheti Alp: Hashaki Tskali, Katsi Tskali, Dano Tskali, Kvavlo Tskali and others. The two Alazanis meet each other at the village of Shenako and the one large river flowing beyond the borders of Tusheti reaches the territory of Dagestan, where it becomes known as the ‘Andis Koisu’, which after flowing with the ‘Avarias Koisu’, flows into the Caspian Sea as the ‘River Sulaki’.

The whole territory of Tusheti is located in the basin of the two Alazanis and is divided into four gorges: Pirikiti Gorge, Gometseri Gorge, Chagma and Chanchakhovani.