Anatori – A tragic story of Khevsureti’s village
13 July, 2017
Anatori – A tragic story of Khevsureti’s village
As it’s widely known, Khevsureti is one of the most beautiful places in Georgia. It’s famous for its incredible beauty, and besides, there is another feature that attracts visitors from all over the world – Khevsureti is also mystical place, land of ancient legends!
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Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

Khevsureti is a historical-ethnographic region in eastern Georgia. Comprising the small river valleys of the Migmakhevi, Shatili, Arkhoti and the Aragvi, the province borders with Chechnya and is included in Dusheti Municipality,
Mtskheta-Mtianeti region. The largest villages are Barisakho and Shatili.

When exploring its ancient villages and castles,it feels like one has transferred into the 16th century. It is thought that old legends and fairytales come true on this magical land. Truly, Khevsureti conveys many interesting stories and legends that captivate every visitor.

Anatori is one of the most mystical places of Khevsureti. This ancient Georgian village is located 3 kilometers away from Shatili, at the confluence of two rivers – Arguni and Mutsos’tskali. This village is quite an interesting and mysterious place from many points of view.

Unfortunately, Anatori was depopulated in 18th century as all the locals perished in the short period of time. As the legend says, the plague (Black Death) was spread in this place during those times. The locals called it ‘Zhami’. The whole village was infected and people were dying one after another. People were even building special vaults (graves) in advance in order not to infect other inhabitants of the village. These vaults were located far away from the village, so when people felt that they were infected and the death was near, they went there by their own will and stayed in the burial vaults until they were dead. Inside the Vaults there were special shelves made from stone, sick people were lying there and waiting for their death with dignity!
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Photo courtesy Giorgi Nikolava

This real story is a perfect demonstration of commitment to one’s community and courage. Only big hearted human can commit such thing, in order not to harm his/her family, neighbors and loved ones. It was some kind of self-arranged funeral. It’s impossible not to feel deep respect for these people while listening to Anatori’s tragic story.

Anatori burial vaults have been preserved, so that anyone can visit the place and see these historic graves with their own eyes.

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Photo courtesy Babua Aludauri

Georgian poet Giorgi Arabuli wrote a very sad verse named “The Notes of Anatoreli” (the resident of Anatori). While reading it, one can feel the deep pain and sorrow of the humans who were waiting for death together! Here we present to you few lines translated into English.

“I left outside my horse.
House.
My childhood.”

“You gave birth to me, mother –
You gave birth to your own pain.”

“My children are here too.
I do not breathe anymore,
So the air is enough for them.”

Author: Bedisa Dumbadze

Related stories:

Magnificent Khevsureti captured by a Georgian photographer

Top 5 wild mountainous resorts of Georgia to visit

9 amazing must visit waterfalls of Georgia

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