David Gareji

NATURAL MONUMENTS OF GEORGIA

Natural Monument is a relatively small area of national importance, represented by ecosystems of rare, unique and highly aesthetic features, specific geographical and hydrological formations, and individual samples of plants or fossils of living organisms. Natural Monument can be a cave, a valley, river deltas, wood groves etc.

 

Abano Mineral Lake

Abano Mineral Lake Natural Monument. (Municipality of  StephanTsminda(Kazbegi)), Truso Gorge, to the east from Village Abano, at an altitude of 2,127 m above sea level). Abano Mineral Lake it is a small lake created by the carbon dioxide filled upward stream flowing to the surface from carbonate rocks of Upper Jurassic period. The lake “boils” loudly from carbon dioxide bubbles. The debit of the stream is 2.5 liters per 24 hours. The total surface area of the lake is 0.04 ha. The extraction of gas in not so windy weather causes carbon dioxide to accumulate in lower layers. Small animals suffocate when they get near the lake, which is why you may come across dead animals, such as: mice, lizards, frogs and some birds.

 

Alazani Floodplain Forest

Alazani Floodplain Forest Natural Monument. (Dedoplistskaro municipality, southeast of the village of Pirosmani, Alazani river valley, at an altitude of 165-190 m above sea level_. The natural monument is presented in the form of a natural forest floodplain, located on an area of 204.4 hectares. Perennial walnuts, ash trees, oaks and elms are in abundance here, as well as bushes characteristic of this forest. The floodplain has the shape of a peninsula. The width of the bay does not exceed 30-40 m. The peculiarity of this territory is that in terms of its flora and fauna, the Alazani floodplain has no analogues among other forests: only here, in Georgia, floodplain forests with climbing plants have been preserved, in which wild walnut grows.

 

Artsivis Kheoba (Eagle Gorge)

Natural monument Artsivis Kheoba (Eagle Gorge) (Municipality of Dedoplistskaro, north of the town of Dedoplistskaro – 0.5 km, 762 meters above sea level). Artsivi (Eagle) Gorge Natural Monument represents an unique complex consisting of two sites. The first one is a limestone rock canyon, while the other is a adjacent forested area. This is a combination of limestone cliffs with lush greenery . The canyon with a picturesque landscape is a home to several birds of prey (eagle, vulture etc.). Colchis pheasants, black storks and other birds also nest in the gorge. Looking at the hanging cliffs from the rocky slopes of the gorge, it is possible to observe nests of eagles and other rare/extinct plants, which cannot be seen anywhere else in Georgia.

 

Askhi limestone massif

Askhi limestone massif (Municipalities of Tsageri and Martvili). One of the most spacious and highest within the limestone strip of the Caucasus. Its area exceeds 400 km2. The surface of the massif is leveled like a table and is represented by various karst forms. Its highest peak is located at an altitude of 2520 meters above sea level. The relative height of the vertically rising slopes of the massif, reaching 1 km, creates an extraordinary landscape. There are more than eighty karst depressions on the territory of the massif, including 42 caves. The total length of karst depressions is 4 km, and the total area exceeds 24 thousand km2. There are many underground streams, rivers and lakes. In some caves of Asha, sites of a man of the Stone Age were found.

 

Bodorna Rock Column

Bodorna Rock Column (Dusheti Municipality, village Bodorna) The natural monument is a rock column with a height of 15 m, developed as a neogene conglomerate or naturally cemented cobbles, located at 813 m above sea level. It is situated on the right bank of the Aragvi River, on the slopes of eastern exposure. The diameter of the base of the column is 4 m and it gradually narrows towards the top. A cave with two niches is carved at the bottom of the column. Many man-made caves are scattered around the nearby slopes. These caves perhaps have had religious importance or they have been used as shelters.

 

Godzerdzi Petrified Forest

Goderdzi petrified forest Natural Monument (Municipalities of Adigeni and Khulo). Natural monument represents a home to unique petrified flora and fauna of the Pliocene Epoch, which  find on three locations of the Natural Monument, at an altitude of 1,600-2,100 m above sea level. The total area of the monument is 365 ha. In the  exposed  volcanogenic layers of the Neogene period, is possible to see parts of petrified forest, which consists of  large amounts of plant fossils from the Late Pliocene (palm trees, magnolia, laurel, birch, hornbeam, beech etc.). Plant remnants are represented as prints of semi-fossilized leaves and stems in grey volcanic tufa.

 

Peat swamps of Ispani

Peat swamps of Ispani  (Municipality of Kobuleti, Adjara). Peatlands are included in the list of wetlands of international importance. It is the most undisturbed peatland in the world of sphagnum (commonly known as peat moss), its area is 770 hectares and it is located less than 300 m from the sea coast. The sphagnum layer is very thick – 25 – 45 cm, the moss is soft. Together with water, peat moss creates a perfectly smooth dome without any bumps. The dome rises 4-5 m above its surroundings. Peatland is an inexhaustible source of oxygen and plays an important role in the carbon production cycle. At the same time, it helps in regulating the regional and local climate.

 

Keterisi Mineral Vaucluse

Natural monument Keterisi Mineral Vaucluse (Municipality of StephanTsminda(Kazbegi)). The natural monument is an accumulation of powerful mineral waters of artesian aquifers, pouring out at the foot of the Greater Caucasus, known as narzan vaucluse. The springs form a beautiful stream winding through the Truso valley and eventually forming cascades in the village of Keterisi itself. The Tergi (Terek) river, which flows through the Truso valley, is fed by numerous tributaries, such as the Keterisi underground spring. This is a complex of artesian mineral waters, which provide about 25-30 million liters of hydrocarbon-lime water, which corresponds to about 300-350 liters of water per second.

 

Krubera Karst Cave

Krubera Karst Cave is the deepest known cave on Earth, hidden in the extremely remote Arabika mountain range in the Western Caucasus in Abkhazia. The cave is located in the valley, formed by a glacier. It was declared the deepest in the world in 2001. In fact, this is a system of caves 16058 m long, which for the most part consists of deep vertical wells connected by passages. It starts high in the mountains, at an altitude of 2256 m. Inside it is very narrow in places – it can be penetrated thanks to the hard work of numerous expeditions that have widened some passages. Krubera Cave was discovered by Georgian speleologists in 1960. Analysis of the stalagmites from the Krubera cave indicates that these cave formations are more than 200 thousand years old.

 

Sakhizari cliff

The picturesque rocks are located in the Kazbegi municipality in the gorge of the Tergi(Terek) river near the village of Sioni at an altitude of 3136 meters above sea level. It is part of the Kazbegi Protected Area along with the Kazbegi National Park and five natural monuments. The natural monument on the rock of Sakhizari is a complex geological structure formed as a result of heavy rains that caused the erosion of the Khabardzhina volcanic mountain. The locals call this place “the ruins of the rocks”, and in the past c In wartime, the villagers could find shelter by climbing the rocks when the enemy approached.

 

Volcanoes of Takhti-Tepha

Volcanoes of Takhti-Tepha (Municipality of Dedoplistskaro). The territory with a couple of dozen active volcanoes is divided into two zones – ennobled for tourists and wild. The cracked surface of mud layers, puffing craters rising above the ground and streams descending into the ravine leave indelible impressions in the memory. Muds have healing properties. The Takhti-Tepha volcanoes are located on the Iora Plateau, on a parallel slope of the Takhti-Tefpha Range, on a white hill with a flat highland. The largest of the craters located on this hill is 3.4 m in diameter. All volcanoes are constantly active: gas is constantly coming out of them, mud and oil with healing properties are pouring out. Mud flowing from volcanoes collects and flows down into the gorge. From exposure to high temperatures, the soil in the vicinity is covered with cracks. This monument of inorganic nature is part of the Vashlovani nature protection area.

 

Truso travertines

Natural monument “Truso travertines” (Municipality of Kazbegi, at an altitude of 2093 meters above sea level). Flowing clear water covers the white surface of the slope with a thin film and creates magnificent travertine. Travertine “glades” seem to be covered with an embroidered canopy, a thin film of water on a white surface creates sparkling puddles. When walking on travertine, the feet almost do not get wet, because. the soles of the shoes rest against the teeth of the calcareous partitions. In the Truso Valley, in several places, there are accumulations of such calcareous travertines, formed from the sediments of the stream. It takes quite a long period for the formation of travertines on the surface of the earth, so travertines are considered a special natural phenomenon.

 

Khvamli limestone massif

Khvamli limestone massif (Municipalities of Tsageri and Tskaltubo). The massif resembles a pyramid, the southern and western slopes of which are steeper than the northern and eastern ones. The caves located here are the most inaccessible place in Georgia. Despite the small area, there are many karst formations on the Khvaml massif. Their number reaches 20, and the total length is a kilometer. The Bogaiskaya Cave, remarkable for its size, contains ice stalactites and stalagmites, which the local population uses for medicinal purposes. You can go down to the Takentersky well, which is 16 meters deep, through the hollow of a beech tree. It is known that the caves of the Khvalm massif are interconnected by “corridors”.