In the Gurjaani municipality, in Akhtala cavity is situated the most famous therapeutic mud quarry. There are nine outlets of therapeutic mud on the area of 4-5 hectares in Akhtala which are closely connected with each other, although they never act together. From the crater of a volcano in the depth of 250 m, mud and fuel gas come out of the ground and carry also small amount of fluid oil. In most of cases 3-4 hillocks are simultaneously active. When one is active, the second and the third weakens or ceases activity altogether… The mud itself is of grey color and has fluid consistency; it includes mineral water, fragments of silicate crystals and colloidal splinters. Day-and-night discharge of the mud makes up 37-47 m3. Its unit weight changes in sync with content of water and atmospheric precipitation. Temperature of mud is also changeable and it depends on the temperature of air. That is why the mud is the warmest in July and August and the coldest – in December and January.
Beneficial impact of Akhtala mud on diverse diseases was known to the population centuries ago. One of the first evidence on Akhtala can be found in Vakhushti Batonishvili work: “Between Jerem and Vejini and to the North of Vejini, at the foot of the slope, is Akhtala which is said to be a settlement doomed to capsize. Tar is emitting, seems to be boiling.” It is interesting that facts passed on by Vakhushti on Akhtala as village ‘doomed to capsize’ is live among local residents even today. In their words, many times ago there was a big earthquake here that took village to the hell. In place of a village, a lake was formed. According to hearsay, Akhtala mud carries sometimes various household utensils – oars, hatchets or saddle belly-bands.
The first therapy building in Akhtala was constructed back in 1836. It was a unit of Tbilisi military hospital. Mud therapy turned out to be so effective that it was decided to build a permanent therapeutic center.
Nowadays Akhtala mud is in intensive use at Tbilisi Spa Resort. It is planned to revive old infrastructure and renovate the resort in Akhtala itself.