Imereti

Imereti

Imereti is a region in west Georgia circumfluous by Rioni river. Due to subtropical climate it’s warm and humid here. The Rioni Valley is surrounded by the mountains. Their sides are covered by pine forests,green meadows with abundantly growing poppies and other flowers on them;and the wonderful lakes are hiding in mountain gorges.
Kutaisi which had been long before a capital of Kolkhid Kingdom is a capital of Imeretia nowadays.
There’s a Botanical Garden here . Its origin is connected with a Scottish agriculturist’s name Jacob Marr who far back in 19 century  had planted the first plants here.Today an amount of growers in this Garden numbers in 700 sorts of the plants, bushes, and trees collected from all over the world. The inhabitants often rest here or make wedding photoshoots. One of the important place of interest here is 400-years-old oak-tree and Its age is not the only reason. The oak has probably the smallest and original carven chapel inside which is active in Georgia. It can contain about three persons.
Also there’s Bagrati Cathedral of 10th century within the city . Founded during the rule of king Bagrat it’s considered the one of the greatest temples in Georgia. Majestic, with the high archs and the emerald roof it impresses incredibly.
11 km far from Kutaisi there’s monastery Gelati. In short, it includes three separate temples : huge temple of Our Lady (12 century), church of St Nicholas the Wonderworker and the church of St George the Victorious (13 century) and 3 storey belfry. The monastery was founded by David the Builder to commemorate a conquest of the Kakheti Kingdom by him. After his death the king was buried right there.
Gelati was a center not only spiritual but also scientific life in Georgia, cause inside of it there was an Academy and the library where people studied and did scientific research. Nowadays the Gelati monastery enters into the list of historical and cultural legacy of UNESCO.
Telling about the monuments of Imereti it should be mentioned the Motsameta monastery as well. It was rebuilt twice: in 10th and in 19th centuries,which says about its ancientry. The relics of two Georgian princes who refused converting Islam and were killed for that are kept in Motsameta monastery. Their names are David and Konstantin Mkheidze. The monastery has been put up over the picturesque canyon of Rioni river and is surrounded by rich greens from everywhere.
One more resource of Imeretia is mineral water. The health centers are opened next to the sources. These three are the most famous ones: Sairme, Nunisi and Tskhaltubo. An interesting fact is that the composition of water in each of them is different and intended for treating specific diseases.
For instance the mineral water from Sairme source is carbonated and low mineralized ,has a unique chemical composition and biologically active additives. This water is used in treating the diseases of liver, gastrointestinal systems ,gall bladder,kidneys and cystitis. Besides this water can strengthen the immunity, raise mental powers, support the organism with metabolism problems such as diabetes or gout.
Mineral water from Nunisi source is unique by its high alkaline reaction. With the help of it people can treat psoriasis,eczema,neurodermitis,dermatitis ,chronical hives ,allergy. Those who’d like to restore their emotional and physical strength should also visit this place,because Nunisi is located amid the Haragauli wood.

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There are thermal radon sources in Tskhaltubo (33-35 Celsius degree). The water is used for treating the diseases of extremities,cardiovascular and gynecological systems, skin, poliomyelitis,rheumatism and even cerebral paralysis. There are also karst caves here which have beneficial influence over asthmatic, those sick of stenocardia,neurosis,hypertension etc.
Tskhaltubo is not only a health center but also a town.Despite the fact that about 11thousands people live in it it’s still considered as an abandoned and deserted territory. Wonderful buildings represented the greatest examples of Soviet architecture are slowly overgrown with vegetation. But the more interesting it is for photoshoots or walks. This town is bewitching…
In Tskhaltubo suburbs there is a place you definitely should visit , which is the cave of Prometheus (or Kumistavi). It was opened 1984 and realized immediately that the cave had to be seen by everyone. Indeed its underground rivers, waterfalls and lakes ,stalactites and stalagmites are just amazing. You can see that all making the journey by walking or going by boat.
Backlighting and classic music playing on and on in the cave add the special charm. According to the legend the Georgian Prometheus, Amirani, whose liver every day had been eaten away by an eagle ,was kept in the cave.
In 4 hours far from Prometheus cave there’s Sataplia Park. There are a lot of karst caves. In one of them artifacts of Stone Age have been recognized.  But which most interesting, the petrified remains of dinosaurs have been kept here. Besides the rare trees grow here such as laurel cherry,yew,ilex, kalkhid boxwood,red beech and staphylea. You may like the stone dinosaurs’ monuments scattered over Sataplia.
Okatse canyon is located about 50 km far from Kutaisi. It’s long enough-16 km length,- and divided into high part and low part. The most beautiful waterfall Kinchkha is In High Okatse . And there’s bilevel bridge with an observation decks in the Low Okatse. Its height is 140 meters. You can  view from there the lakes and waterfalls dig-out by the river Okatse in the limestone. Not far from canyon there is Martvili canyon. It is remarkable with its turquoise color and cascade waterfalls.
Imereti gave the Georgian cuisine the various food with the one common ingredient which is walnut. You have to try satsivi( the chicken with walnut sauce),lobio (bean with walnut,garlic and coriander),pkhali(walnut,green and garlic), eggplants and walnuts, kharcho(soup made of beef with rice, cherry, plum and purée of walnuts), salad with tomatoes and cucumbers with walnuts again. Chakhohbili (beef with estragon plus chicken with green) and mchadi ( corn cake) are separate for no walnut in them. Three types of khachapuri are baked here :imeretian with cheese,khachapuri on spit (suluguni cheese beaded on the spit muffled by dough) and lobiani( cake with bean). Imereti is the homeland of suluguni ,imeretian cheese and tkemali-sour-sweet sauce from plum. Also it’s popular here to serve marinated vegetables.
As you’ve already guessed the journey around Imereti can’t be boring . The best decision is to come here.

Video about Imereti

Imereti Photo Gallery

Top destinations in Imereti

Okatse and martvili canyons Kinchkha Waterfall
Prometheus Cave, Sataplia Cave and Nature Reserve
Bagrati, Gelati and Motsameta Cathedrals
Colchis Fountain
Muhkhura waterfall
Botanical Garden
Cable ways Chiatura
Niko Berdzenishvili Kutaisi State History Museum
Palace of Imeretian Kings Okros Chardakhi Kutaisi
Kutaisi Historical Museum, David Kakabadze Fine Art Gallery
Vani Archaeological Museum
Nunisi, Tskaltubo
Leisure and Amusement Parks

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