Baghdati is a green district with a big touristic potential for those who like unexplored areas. At first, the municipality was a part of Kutaisi province and in 1930 it became an independent district. Its main town also called Baghdati, is placed at the edge of the Ajameti forest, by the Khanistsqali River (a tributary of the Rioni River). Its name derives from Old Persian and can be translated as “the gift of God”. It is not a coincidence that the name is similar to the name of Iraq’s capital Baghdad. Baghdati is one of the cities which were situated on the Silk Route where in the past merchants used to transport countless goods from the Middle East.
The goods which could be found on the Silk Route included hand embroidered headscarves from Baghdad called “baghdati”. Gradually Georgian women started to use them to cover their heads and soon the scarves became part of the traditional feminine outfit. The name of the region and the city – Baghdati – derives from these headscarves. It is one of the oldest inhabited places in Imereti region. Historical sources mention the village for the first time in the first half of the 17th century. However, the archeological materials prove the existence of human settlements since the Middle Ages. In 1709, Baghdati was occupied by Ottomans. During their times, the town became a center of the slave trade. They built there a fortress which was first made of wood and later rebuilt in stone. In 1770, the united army of Georgians and Russians captured the fortress which was later destroyed so that it will not be used by Ottomans in the future. The ruins of the fortress can still be seen on the left bank of the Khanistskali River. In 1940, the village was renamed Mayakovsky, after Vladimir Mayakovsky, who was born there in 1893. He was a Soviet poet, playwright, artist and a stage and film actor. After 50 years, the city’s name was changed again to Baghdati. It acquired the status of a town in 1981. Nowadays, you can find there the Vladimir Mayakovsky’s Museum. The district is famous for its fantastic wine. Some of the best grape varieties like Tsolikouri, Tsitska or Otskhanauri Sapere grow here. Baghdati is also rich in mineral springs and healing waters, which can be found in the Sairme health resort and which are used for the treatment of various diseases.
Following are the remarkable historical-architectural monuments of the District: