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The Georgian historical tradition ascribes origination of Kakheti province to Kakhos – one of the several sons of Kartlos who is believed to have been the forefather of all Georgians. Kakhos was given the land between the Caucasus and Kakheti Mountain, from Aragvi River to Tketba. His brother Kukhos assisted Kakhos in laying the foundations of the province and also owned land from the Aragvi to Hereti province.

Until 3-4 AD administrative and political center of Kakheti was located in Ber-Cheleti (Jaleti), until King Asphagur had Ujarma built, the latter to become the center of united Kakhet-Kukheti land in the reign of King Mirian by the early 4thcentury. In the 11th century the center was transferred to Telavi Town.

The 8th century witnessed creation of Early Feudal Kakhetian Principality. In the 9th century Kakheti also included a certain part of Shida (Inner) Kartli up to Ksani River. The principality included Khevi or Tsanareti, Tusheti, Pkhoeti (Pshav-Khevsureti), and Dzurdzuketi and Ghlighveti. Georgian historical records refer to the latter land as “Mtiuleti Kakhetisa” (Kakhetian Highlands). During the 9-10th centuries Kaheti was actively involved in the struggle for unification of Georgia as one of the aspirants for leadership.

This was the time when Kakheti, Kukheti and Gardabani were united and gave rise to prospects for reconsolidation of Kakheti and Hereti principalities by the 10th century. In the United Georgian Kingdom Kakheti was a strong and important administrative unit.

In the 15th century disintegration of Georgia was followed by establishment of an independent Kakheti Kingdom. By this time its political and cultural center was transferred to Gremi – a recently built picturesque town. However, the invasions initiated by Shah Abbas of Persia within 1614-1617 Gremi was completely destroyed and Telavi once again undertook the role of political and administrative management of the kingdom that continued its existence until the 19th century.

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