The history of Khulo municipality does not have huge archives and, unfortunately, is poorly documented. But there are several interesting facts related to different historical periods that we know:
The Khulo area has been inhabited since ancient times, almost from the Bronze Age. Cult monuments such as the Thilvani Menhir, which is a simple megalith building-vertical column with height about 20 meters. Archaeologists think that it was connected to a funeral ritual. And also the Kaloto Altar have been found here, which confirm the existence of civilization in the Khulo region in pre-Christian times. The site was built up in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the many surviving churches, castles, or medieval arched bridges.
In the 16th century, the Ottoman Empire pursued an active policy of conquest in several regions of the world at once. Georgian lands became one of the directions of Ottoman expansion on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. However, the scattered parts of the former Georgian kingdom found themselves in the orbit of the Ottoman Empire’s influence at different times, and the forms of their relations with the Ottoman state were also different. As the whole region of Adjara, Khulo was also part of the Ottoman Empire, during which the region was converted to Islam.
Khulo’s population, largely Islamized under the Ottomans, diminished dramatically under the Russian oppression of Islam in the 1870s.
In April 1929, during the Soviet rule, the Muslim villagers of mountainous Adjara rose in arms against compulsory collectivization and religious persecution. The Soviet troops were invoked and the revolt was quickly put down. Thousands of Adjarians were deported from the republic.
Khulo district was established in 1965 by its current borders, and according to the current administrative-territorial arrangement, it is called Khulo municipality.
A series of floods and avalanches in the 1990s-2000s induced another wave of migration from the mountainous villages of the district.
It is very interesting that when visiting Khulo, it is unlikely that there will be a feeling that in this territory most of the population is Muslim. Most likely, you will realize this only the moment you hear a prayer.
One of the most important parts of the history of Khulo is the Khikhani fortress. Khikhani fortress was built in the twelfth century by Queen Tamar, and it was used to defend itself from the enemy and till the 19th century, it was a strategic stronghold, inaccessible from 3 sides. Still, it takes a long serpentine and 40 minutes walk to ascend the fortress from the mountain bottom. You will find lots of monuments: rectangular towers, walls, a bakery, a wine storage area, a water well, and a church.
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