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View upstream Aragvi River and along Tbilisi–Senaki–Leselidze highway (taken from around Jvari Monastery)
Native nameარაგვი (Georgian)
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 (Kura)
 • location
Mtskheta, Georgia
 • coordinates
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)
Basin size2,740 km2 (1,060 sq mi)
Basin features
ProgressionKuraCaspian Sea

The Aragvi (Georgian: არაგვი) and its basin are in Georgia on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. The river is 112 kilometres (70 mi) long, and its basin covers an area of 2,740 square kilometres (1,060 sq mi).[3] 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

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 Zhinvali 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 by Mtskheta, Eastern Georgia's ancient capital just north of Tbilisi.


See არაგვი for the origin of the name.

Use and infrastructure

The 102-metre (335 ft) high dam by Zhinvali 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. ^ Statistical Yearbook of Georgia: 2020, National Statistics Office of Georgia, Tbilisi, 2020, p. 12.
  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

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