KHALDE (ხალდე)

A rough, steep road brought us to the village Khalde located in the south of Chkhutneri ridge, in Khaldechala valley, just six kilometers from Khalde Glacier, at an altitude of 1900m above sea level. It’s a very tiny mountainous village that is not inhabited during winter. The villagers of Khalde started the rebellion against the Russian Empire (Svaneti Uprising 1875-1876) because of high taxation. They fought to the death during the revolt, which is why the village, with its towers, was destroyed entirely. After Khalde became empty, the Russian government prohibited inhabiting Khalde and named it “New Iphrari.” Svans mention the heroes of Khalde with great respect. There is a remarkable song written about them called “Gaul-Gavkhe.”