By Tika Bujiashvili

To the south-east from Tbilisi, within 60-70 km distance, there is one of the outstanding Monastery Complex in the rocky mountains of Gareji, in the semi-desert of historical region of Kakheti. The monastery complex was founded in the VI century by David Garejeli, one of the Assyrian fathers. At first, he settled in the natural cave with his disciple Lukiane, which later became a famous monastery under the name of David’s Lavra and became a centre of Gareji monastery complex.

Today Monastery complex consists of more than 20 historical monuments:  Natlismtsemeli, Chichkhituri, Tetri Senakebi, Dodosrqa, Udabno, Davitis Lavra, Mravaltskaro, Tetri Udabno, Shavi Senakebi, Berebis Mta, Tsintskaro, Gansashori, Sabereebi, Berebis Seri, Satorge, Kotsakhura, Bertubani, Mgvime, Kolagiri, Didi Kvabebi, Patara Kvabebi, Veran-Gareja, Pirukugmari. Mravaltskharo is the most distinguished place with its natural environment. There is also Mravalstkharo reservoir with colorful mountains around it. The place is also called White Desert. Mravaltskaro Moanstery was discovered in 1995 by a scientific expedition “Desert”. The monastery is not mentioned in written sources, but this is one of the monasteries in Gareji, which is close to a river.

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