Prior to August 2008, Chkhalta was part of 'Upper Abkhazia', the only part of Abkhazia controlled by the Georgian government. The village was home to the headquarters of Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, recognised by Georgia as the only legitimate government of Abkhazia. The village and the surrounding area were undergoing a major rehabilitation program. During the August 2008 war in South Ossetia, Abkhazian forces gained control of Chkhalta and the rest of Upper Abkhazia.  Most of Chkalta's inhabitants fled the advancing troops and have yet to return.