Tsalka municipality is located in Kvemo Kartli region. The area of the municipality is 1050.6 km2. The town of Tsalka is an administrative center of the municipality. Till 1917 the territory of the present Tsalka municipality was a part of the Tbilisi district within the limits of Borchalo rayon.
In 1965 the mentioned territory became a separate district and now it has a status of the municipalityThe well-known Georgian scientists and public figure, Niko Ketskhoveli in his book: “They still will grow up…”, writes, that “currently the whole plateau is called Tsalka, while it was just a village in the past.
According to Vakhushti Bagrationi – “The river flows from the north to Sabate, Ktsia. There is a domed church on the edge of Ktsia in Tsalka where the Trialeti Bishop resides”. The area from which the village Tsalka can be seen is Trialeti plateau”. The municipality is bordered by Borjomi and Kaspi municipalities to the north, Akhalkalaki municipality to the west, Ninotsminda and Dmanisi municipalities to the south and Tetritskaro municipality to the east.
The municipality is located in the transitional zone between moderately humid subtropical climate to dry highland climate. Across much of the territory of the municipality highland steppe climate with almost snowless winters and long, warm summers is prevalent.
Average annual precipitation reaches 600-740 mm. Maximum precipitation occurs in spring and minimum precipitation – in the beginning of summer. Tsalka depression is a volcanic plateau the boundaries of which almost coincide with the boundaries of the municipality. Tsalka depression is located at 1500-1700 m above sea level and occupies 398.3 km2. Highlands are used as pastures, while lowlands – for agricultural purposes. The central part of the depression is occupied by Tsalka water reservoir.
Chochiani lava plateau, which is located mainly on the right side of the Khrami river and separates the south-eastern part of Tsalka depression from Dashbashu canyon is also within the administrative boundaries of Tsalka municipality.
Niko Ketskhoveli in his book “Under the Nine-Eyed Sun” describes the development of the terrain of Tsalka: “These plateaus were abundantly supplied with lava by the volcanos, such as currently dormant Tavkvetili and Godorebi, Abuli and Samsari, Shambiani and Emlikli. They filled up deep gullies, built large plateaus which were separated by the Abulsamsari and Kechuti (Javakheti) ranges. Later the
rivers dissected these plateaus leading to the development of the Algeti, Ktsia, Chivchiva, Mashavera, Poladauri and other river gorges”.
The Ktsia (Khrami) river, followed by the Chochiana river is the largest river in Tsalka municipality. The Ktsia river takes its rise on the Javakheti range. Tsalka (Khrami) water reservoir, the largest water reservoir in Georgia is located on the territory of Tsalka municipality. There are also lakes: Bareti, Khadiki, Leliani, etc.
According to the census of 2014, population of Tsalka municipality is 18 849, making about 0,5% of population of Georgia. Men make up 53% of the local population, women – 47%. 84% of the population of the municipality lives in rural areas, 16% – on urban territories.
The municipality is ethnically diverse. Almost half of the population are ethnic Georgians, the rest of consists of Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Greeks. This aspect gives Tsalka municipality a distinctive cultural and social character.
One hospital is in operation in Tsalka. Ambulatories provide medical services in the villages Kushcha, Kokhta, Beshtasheni and Avranlo. Sports grounds, a library and a cultural center are available in the municipality.
Agriculture is the most developed sector in the municipality. The main agricultural activities include: potato growing and grain crop growing, as well as livestock breeding.
High quality mineral resources are found on the territory of the municipality. The deposits of perlite, obsidian and pumice are identified at the border between Tsalka and Ninotsminda municipalities, construction sand is found in the village Kizilkilisa.
The town of Tsalka is an administrative center of the municipality. It is located 90 km far from Tbilisi, within Tsalka depression at 1460 m above sea level. Tsalka is a recreational area mainly due to its medium mountain climate. Its old name is Edzani, later the town was called Barmaksizi (till 1932).