Khojaly is a district located in the mountainous Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Its territory was a part of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast established within the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) and existed until 26 November 1991.
The territory of the district is mainly mountainous. The highest peaks are Gizgala (2843m) and Girhgiz (2830m). With the exception of the high mountainous areas, it has a mild/warm climate. The high mountainous areas are covered with subalpine and alpine meadows. The main rivers are the Badara and Gargar. The topsoil is mainly comprised of uphill and mountain soils. 40% of the territory is rich with hazel, beech, maple, birch and other trees.
Erected in the 18th century by Karabakh khante Panah khan, Askeran castle is located within the administrative confines of Khojaly district, on both banks of the Gargar River. The castle, which was built from cobblestones, is composed of two fortifications. A significant milestone relating to this castle is that in 1810 the castle hosted peace talks between Russia and Qajar, which further raised its historical significance.
Khojaly was captured by Armenian forces on 26 February 1992 during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War. The Khojaly Massacre of February 1992, was the mass murder of at least 161 ethnic Azerbaijani civilians in Khojaly on 26 February 1992
According to the ceasefire signed on November 10, 2020 as a result of Azerbaijan’s victory in the Second Karabakh War, the Khojaly region was temporarily transferred to the control of Russian peacekeeping forces.