Lailashi – A Must-see place in Georgia
Exploring the world takes time, energy and money, but the pleasure and joy you get in return beats them all and is one of the best things you can have in your life. If you decide to visit one of the world’s most unusual and interesting countries – Georgia, you will find the most fascinating places here.
Georgia’s nature is so diverse. It’s a small country, but it has some unique treasures hidden away throughout the country. One of the unknown gems of Georgia, Lailashi, is located in the Tsageri Municipality of the Racha-Lechkumi region. At an altitude of 850 meters, it is only 18 km away from Tsageri. Lailashi is one of the villages you must see in Georgia .The village is very small, but it has an incredibly interesting history. It was first mentioned in historical records in the 18th Century but archeologists have found bronze axes from the 13th and 14th Centuries in the area.
Lailash’s ancient society consisted of Georgians, Greeks, Jews and Armenians all living together. In the village there is a church with a bell tower and cemetery dating back to the 19th Century. The most important day of the year in the village is St. George’s Day, celebrated on the 23rd November every year. There is also a synagogue in the village. It is famous because of the bible that is kept there. The ‘bible of Lailashi’ is a unique Hebrew bible from the 10th Century, which was found in Svaneti in the 1940’s. Since 1957 the Lailashi Bible has been kept in the Institute of Manuscripts of Georgia.
In Lailashi, there was also once a great Armenian church but today it lies in ruins.
In 1904, a fire destroyed 150 houses of the village. A representative of Georgia in Russia, Paichadze asked Emperor Nikoloz II for financial help to rebuild the village. So many houses were destroyed because at first it wasn’t possible to stop the fire and then winter arrived soon after and the onset of snow and frost didn’t help.
In the first half of the 19th century, the main market town of the Lechkhumi region was Lailashi.
In Arabic, “ألفليلةوليلة” (ie, Les Mille et Une Nuits) sounds like “alpha lailavalila”, meaning “one thousand and one nights”. Lila is at the top of the Svaneti ridge, but information about the term of the word is not specified with the name of Lailashi.
A few facts about the village
Almost 30% of the famous Georgian movie ‘I, Grandmother, Iliko and Ilarioni’ was shot in the village.
Popular family names in Lailashvil are: Tvaradze, Chachkhiani, Gokadze.
In 1912 Akaki Tsereteli traveled to Racha-Lechkhumi. The poet traveled from Kutaisi to Laila on July 21st. The poet received a warm welcome when he arrived in the village.
According to the 2014 census, only 262 people are living in the village.
You can take a minibus from Didube Station, Tbilisi. It takes around 5 hours to get there.
Tsageri – Lentekhi – 09:30
The Price – 18-20 Gel Per person.