Aragvi River

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View upstream Aragvi River from Jvari monastery, 2008-07-07.jpg
View upstream Aragvi River and along Tbilisi–Senaki–Leselidze highway (taken from around Jvari monastery)
Native nameGeorgian: არაგვი
Physical characteristics
 • locationGudauri, Mtiuleti, Georgia
 • coordinates42°20′41″N 44°41′42″E / 42.34459°N 44.69502°E / 42.34459; 44.69502
 • elevation1,045 m (3,428 ft)[1]
Mouthflows into the Mtkvari
 • location
Mtskheta, Georgia
 • coordinates
41°50′24″N 44°43′34″E / 41.84003°N 44.72611°E / 41.84003; 44.72611Coordinates: 41°50′24″N 44°43′34″E / 41.84003°N 44.72611°E / 41.84003; 44.72611
 • elevation
445 m (1,460 ft)[2]
Length112 km (70 mi) or 66 kilometres (41 mi)
Basin size2,724 km2 (1,052 sq mi)

The Aragvi River (Georgian: არაგვი) and its basin are in Georgia on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. The river is 112 kilometres (70 mi)[citation needed] or 66 kilometres (41 mi)[3] long, and its basin covers an area of 2,724 square kilometres (1,052 sq mi). The ground strata are mostly sandstone, slate, and limestone. The Zhinvali Dam and its 130 MW hydro-electric power station generate much of Georgia's power, and its construction in 1986 formed the Zhinvali Reservoir, upon whose north-western shores rises Ananuri castle with its 17th-century Church of the Assumption.

Confusion over name and course[edit]

Given its etymology (see below; the word simply means "river"), the exact course of the Aragvi River is the source of some confusion. The river has several important tributaries, all called "aragvi":

The Tetri Aragvi ("White Aragvi")[4] flows from Gudauri down to the town of Pasanauri, where it is joined by the Shavi Aragvi ("Black Aragvi"),[5] the main river of Gudamakari to the north-east. Together, these two rivers continue as, simply, "the Aragvi"; from Pasanauri, the Aragvi flows south-east to the Jinvali Reservoir, where it is joined by the Pshav Aragvi[6] (itself fed by the Khevsur Aragvi)[7] before flowing south to merge with the Mtkvari River by Mtskheta, Eastern Georgia's ancient capital just north of Tbilisi.


See არაგვი for the origin of the name.

Use and infrastructure[edit]

The 102-metre (335 ft) high dam by Jinvali is one of the largest in Georgia. Besides generating up to 130 MW of electricity, the waters of the Aragvi feed down a 36.7-kilometre (22.8 mi) pipe to provide drinking water in Tbilisi and to irrigate fields.



  1. ^ Soviet General Staff Maps, 1:50,000 series, sheet K-38-54-W
  2. ^ Soviet General Staff Maps, 1:50,000 series, sheet M-38-78-A
  3. ^ Aragvi in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978 (Russian)
  4. ^ Georgian: თეთრი არაგვი, tetri aragvi. Source: approx. 42°31'27.13"N, 44°24'2.40"E
  5. ^ Georgian: შავი არაგვი, shavi aragvi. Source: approx. 42°27'25.18"N, 44°42'40.80"E
  6. ^ Georgian: ფშავის არაგვი, pshavis aragvi. Source: approx. 42°23'57.01"N, 45°8'42.74"E
  7. ^ Georgian: ხევსურეთის არაგვი, khevsuretis aragvi. Source: approx. 42°33'45.75"N, 44°57'12.78"E