Published on: July 15, 2021



Sungailiat Who :

  • 17th century Georgian Queen
  • From Kakheti, a kingdom in eastern Georgia
  • Was tortured and killed in 1624 in Shiraz during the rule of the Safavid dynasty
  • Portuguese missionaries were said to have carried the relics to Goa in 1627.
  • Revered as a martyr, her relics remained lost till 2005 as the St. Augustine Church collapsed in 1842
  • DNA analysis by the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, confirmed their authenticity in 2013. What is in news : After a long-standing request of Georgia, External Affairs Minister handed over the holy relics of 17th century Georgian Queen St. Ketevan nearly 16 years after they were found in Goa.

Other details :

  • Larger part of the relic remained with the ASI in Goa and would be publicly displayed for the first time
  • Smaller part had been handed over to Georgia, where it was likely to be displayed publicly with the citation that it was a “gift from people of India to people of Georgia”
  • The larger part of the relic had been sent to Georgia for an exhibition for six months in 2017


  • Georgia is situated at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia
  • Relations between Georgia and India date back to ancient times.
  • The Panchatantra influenced Georgian folk legends. During the medieval period, Georgian missionaries, travelers, and traders visited India.
  • Some Georgians served in the courts of Mughal emperors, and a few rose to the rank of governor.
  • India was among the first countries to officially recognize Georgia, doing so on 26 December 1991.
  • India is a net exporter to Georgia.
  • The main commodities exported by India to Georgia are cereals, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, pharmaceuticals, electrical machinery and equipment, aluminium and aluminium articles.