In wartimes, when misfortune befell the Georgian highlanders, it was in the fortified buildings or dwelling towers used for defensive purposes where the battle-hardened Khevsurs, who knew no rest from enemies, would find a secure refuge, relative peace and almost the only chance of preventing physical annihilation. Numbers of century-old fortress-towers are still seen standing proudly … Read more


It is no secret that the relationship between the Khevsuris and Northern Caucasian tribes was accompanied with conflict situations, which emerged occasionally as the northern neighbours used to attack and rob mountain-dwelling Georgians. Sometimes the feud between them lasted for years. It was in such cases, when decisive and conscious actions of clever and prudent men were … Read more

Military Equipment

The Khevsuris, born to be warriors, gave special emphasis and pride of place to weapons. They decorated their arms with silver and brass plates, named the weaponsand composed legends about them. Fine specimens were handed down from father to son. Every male Khevsuri tried to have the best personal arms to be ready on all occasions for assault … Read more

The Khevsur National Heroes

Historical and heroic narratives have a special place in Khevsur oral tradition. of martial spirit residing in the mountains of the Caucasus venerated their heroes, men of exceptional bravery, strenght and character. Often they were deificated, described with mythic attributes. Among the national heroes of medieval Khevsureti the most distinguished was Torgva Dzagani, who put an end to … Read more

The History of the Khevsuris

Besik Kharanauli* addresses Zurab Eristavi**: “One thing should be admitted: it was a great piece of luck that you encountered the people who possess nothing but barren soil and poetry. These people defeated you, did not let you have even a small shred of their native soil and their profound hatred to you immortalized your The Khevsuris had been … Read more


Throughout history the Khevsuris have undergone several powerful processes of migration. As far back as the 4th century, when St. Nino sent the representatives of the Kartli Kingdom to the mountains with the purpose of converting the pagan population to Christianity, according to the chronicler, “…the Pkhovelni* abandoned their native land and moved to Tusheti”. That was a … Read more


In the Eastern Caucasus, on the southern and northern slopes of the Main Caucasus Watershed live the Khevsuris – an ancient Georgian nationality of extremely peculiar fate and character, whose dramatic mode of life, distinctive traditions have always been the subject of scientific research and the source of inspiration for writers and poets. Even some sixty years ago in Khevsureti … Read more

Fauna of Pshav-Khevsureti

There is a bird, whose voice is always heard in Pshavi and Khevsureti as well as in all the highest passes and peaks of Caucasus. This is Caucasian Snowcock- quite big (the size of a hen) and an almost invisible bird, whose whistle is one of the most common sounds of in the Caucasus. Still this bird is … Read more

Healing and Agricultural Plants

Pshav-Khevsureti has a long history of natural medical practices. This is due to the isolation of the region and difficulty when importing medicine. Therefore, local dwellers specialized in the use of herbs and other natural resources in medical practices. Khevsureti’s and Pshavi’s “Wise Women” are known for their skills. For centuries they have performed complex operations, for example head … Read more

Relicts and Endemic species

In the flora of Pshavi and Khevsureti we can find many relict and endemic species, such as a unique type of Yew, Caucasian Rhododendron (Rhododendron caucasicum), two types of Birch (Betula litwinowii, B. raddeana) In Georgia only in the area of Shatili and Tsukio (on the right bank of the river Andaqistskali) we encounter the Armenian Rowan (Sorbus hajestana), … Read more

“Rock-loving” plants (petrophilic flora)

The most interesting and endemic is the flora of subnival zone in the Pshav-Khevsureti. At an altitude of 2900-4000 m. we can encounter a few species of local “rock-loving” plants. The Subnival zone lacks diversity – here, among cliffs and boulders small, homogenous communities of herbs grow. This is caused by extreme climatic conditions. As the altitute rises, … Read more

High Mountain Meadows

The meadows of Pshavi and Khevsureti are home to more than 400 species of plants. Sub-alpine meadows are located at an altitude of 1800 – 2500 meters. They have a different composition, some with dominant grain and some with various species of herbs. Grain meadows consist of brown bent (Agrostis planifolia), matgrass (Nardus stricta), Festuca varia, bunch grass (Calamagrostis … Read more

Alpine carpets

This type of plant formation is present mostly in North Khevsureti, on the border of the massive high mountainous alpine and subalpine zones and stretched up to an altitude of 2900-3300 m. Alpine carpets are created by comparatively low plants (Taraxacum confusum, Carum caucasicum, Poa alpine, Carex micropodioides, Briza marcowiczii, Luzula sudetica, Plantago saxatilis, Minuartia oreina). Alpine carpets … Read more

Tall Herbaceus (tall-herbs)

This type of plant is widespread in Pshavi and Khevsureti. The optimum latitude for its vegetation is 1800-2200 meters. Dominant species are ones from the Parsley family (Fam. Umbeliferae+Apiaceae). The most widespread of them is Sosnowsky’s Hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi). In South Khevsureti, it grows in Roshki’s moraine relief and in the area of the Gudani and Khakhmati … Read more