Legend has it that in the fifth century, King Vakhtang I Gorgasali was hunting in the forest with a falcon. The falcon injured a pheasant during the hunt after which both birds fell into a nearby hot spring and died from burns. The king got impressed with the hot springs and decided to build a city there. The name Tbilisi derives from the old Georgian word tbili meaning warm. Spread out on both the banks of River Mtkvari, Tbilisi is surrounded by mountains on three sides.
While approaching Tbilisi by air, the lush green plains dotted with the mountains welcomed me. Reading about Georgian ancient history had prepared me a little, though my visit to Georgian capital over-exceeded my expectations. Tbilisi is unique –– it has a mix of old and new. The picturesque capital is packed with every traveller’s fancy: great architecture, breathtaking countryside, snowpeaked mountains, delicious cuisine and vibrant nightlife! While the international airport exudes modern flamboyance, the old town still thrives with historical heritage. The walls of Narikala Fortress dominate the old city skyline. Built in fourth century, the fortress served as a Persian citadel before Arabs took over in the eighth century.