The Alazani is a river that flows through the Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...


It is the main tributary of the Kura
Kura River
Kura is a river, also known from the Greek as the Cyrus in the Caucasus Mountains. Starting in north-eastern Turkey, it flows through Turkey to Georgia, then to Azerbaijan, where it receives the Aras River as a right tributary, and enters the Caspian Sea...

 in eastern Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, and flows for 351 km. Part of its path forms the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, before it meets the Kura at the Mingəçevir Reservoir.

The Alazani originates in the Greater Caucasus
Greater Caucasus
Greater Caucasus , sometimes translated as "Caucasus Major", "Big Caucasus" or "Large Caucasus") is the major mountain range of the Caucasus Mountains....

 at the confluence of two small rivers south of the ridge, at the village of Shenako
Shenako is a highland village in the eastern Georgian region of Kakheti.Shenako located on the southern slope of the Greater Caucasus, in the historical-geographical area of Tusheti, some 100 km northeast of the municipal center of Akhmeta, close to the border with Dagestan, Russia.Shenako is...

. It flows initially from the region of Akhmeta
Akhmeta is a town in the Kakheti province of Georgia. It is the home for Zurab Zviadauri, gold medalist in judo.In some parts of southern Germany the term 'Achmeta!' has become a common interjection for expressing disappointment or frustration....

 to the south, then through the fruitful Alazani Valley of Kakheti
Kakheti is a historical province in Eastern Georgia inhabited by Kakhetians who speak a local dialect of Georgian. It is bordered by the small mountainous province of Tusheti and the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north, Russian Federation to the Northeast, Azerbaijan to the Southeast, and...

 towards the southeast. The Alazani is the center of the Georgian wine industry. For centuries, it was a main gateway for Persian invaders.

The Alazani dries up during the winter, but in the late spring, snow melt from the mountains swells the river enormously; this regularly causes flooding. The river is mainly used for irragation and for drinking water. In the 1990s, Chinese investors built many small hydroelectric power plants, which use the Alazani's strong current. The river is also popular with tourists for rafting
Rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this...


A light pollution of the river with biological substances comes from untreated sewage from the cities and other communities, as well as from the agricultural areas. In the districts of Kvareli
Qvareli is a town in northeastern in Kakheti Province, Georgia. Located in the Alazani Valley, near the foothills of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, it was the birthplace of Georgian author Ilia Chavchavadze, whose fortified house is preserved as a local museum.The area is in the center of the...

 and Lagodekhi
Lagodekhi is a small town and district in the Kakheti region of eastern Georgia. There is a border crossing there leading to Azerbaijan's Balakan Province.Lagodekhi Nature Reserve, established in 1911, is situated in this area.-External links:***...

, water quality is said to be quite bad.

Alazani serves also as the name of different Georgian wines, among them the semi-dry brands of Marani Alazani Valley and Old Tbilisi Alazani.
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