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Area: 2168.65 sq. km
Do you know that the highest geographical point of Tatarstan is in Aznakayevskiy Rayon? Chatyr-Tau Hill is the main attraction in these lands. Since 1972 it has been recognized as a natural monument. Chatyr-Tau Hill‚Äôs height is 321.7 meters above the sea level.
Chatyr-Tau is the only place with remnants of an ancient steppe being intact. This place is also known for the biggest marmot colony in the region. The longest copper mines of Tatarstan are in Chatyr-Tau, too. Local inhabitants believe that climbing the ‚ÄúMount Everest of Tatarstan‚ÄĚ is a sign that brings good luck. Fans of air gliding come here in droves to catch favourable winds.
Aznakayevsky municipal rayon (district) is situated in the south-eastern part of Tatarstan. In the east it borders on Bakalinskiy and Sharanskiy rayons of Bashkortostan respectively, in the north its neighbours are Sarmanovskiy and Myslyumovskiy rayons of Tatarstan. In the west and south-west it has borders with Tatarstan‚Äôs Almetyevskiy rayon, in the south the frontiers meet with Bugulminskiy rayon of Tatarstan. Finally, in south-east Aznakayevskiy rayon borders on Yutazinskiy rayon of Tatarstan.
In terms of natural features the rayon occupies part of the Eastern Zakamye‚Äôs forest-steppe zone. Situated in the Ural Mountains foothills, on Bugulminskiy Plateau, territory includes north-eastern part of Bugulminsko-Belebeyevsky Highlands and covers the area on wide River Ik‚Äôs Valley‚Äôs left bank together with adjacent Iksko-Zainskiy Watershed. Lofty valley has many stages, it is structured and slope asymmetry is sharp. Chatur-Tau Hill is part and parcel of Bugulminsko-Belebeevsky Highlands.
The Chatyr Tau state natural reserve is the object of regional importance. According to geological survey data, the hill is formed by sedimentary rocks which date back to Permian formation (280 mln years) and destruction products of the Urals, primarily fragmental red-colored sandstones, alevrolites and clays. It is for this reason that Chatur-Tau has otherworldly reddish hue where rocks come to the ground.
Two centuries ago copper was extracted from copper-bearing sandstones. In gallery‚Äôs dumps around the hill lie minerals as malachite and azurite, one may find ancient plant imprints. These plants were flourishing more than 200 million years ago! Oil deposits can be found in coal and Devonian sediments. Rare species of steppe plants are endemic to the hill and inscribed into the Red Book. Both rare species and abundant wild herbs cover the hill‚Äôs slopes.
Fame about exceptional natural treasures of these lands had attracted nomads and travelers alike. The Nogais settled here up to the 17th century. As an old legend has it, modern appellation stems from the name of the first settler ‚ÄĒ Aznakay. This name clearly points at that settler‚Äôs Persian-Turkic origins, as ‚Äúazna‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ ‚Äúatna‚ÄĚ stands for ‚ÄúFriday‚ÄĚ (holy day for Muslims). According to the other version, Aznakayevo was founded later, in the 16th century. One way or another, it was the Holden Horde period when the history started for Aznakayevo. Later ore was extracted here: the slopes of Chatyr-Tau are covered with numerous gallery dumps. At present the remains of 57 galleries have been found out, several scores of gaps and swollen mine craters and exploring shafts have been discovered. Open entrance leading into the gallery was discovered in a section which is situated in the forest zone.
Chatyr-Tau is an object of many legends. One of it says that Yemelyan Pugachov camped here with his ‚Äúpeople‚Äôs troops‚ÄĚ.
Another legend tells us about the caves at the hilltop that harbor preserved antique arsenal. Local inhabitants say that in 1960s the entryways into the galleries were so high that one could enter the cave on horseback. Inside the cave itself the whole big rooms with stove benches and tables were cut out. The entrance to the gallery was artificially destroyed and blocked after the tragic case which had happened to one of the cave‚Äôs visitors. That visitor took a torch and a bucket filled with petrol. He had bad luck as he stumbled in, fell down and perished. Today the only way to enter that cave is to crawl.
Aznakayevskiy rayon has one more state natural reserve ‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúVladimirskiy Slope‚ÄĚ (Vladimirskiy Sklon), it is part of the Yamashka river slope. The Yamashka is a tributary of the Stepnoy Zay. Here the vast areas of steppe are covered with the biggest population of adonis and a whole range of meadow and steppe plants and insects, all of them being listed in the Red Book of Tatarstan.
These lands are rich in mineral water springs. According to popular belief, medicinal water in Charyr-Tau springs owes its properties to silver and ‚Äútsar-magnet‚ÄĚ that are hidden in the hill‚Äôs bowels. One of the springs is on the hill-side and was held as a holy spring in the 1950s ‚ÄĒ 60s. Lower on the slope is another source. It is more powerful though its water has iron aftertaste. The chemical analysis of the water may show its medicinal properties similar to those of health resort town Zheleznovodsk in the Mineral Water Spas region.
Picturesque banks of the rivers Ik and Styarle extend for 780 kilometers and add to the rayon‚Äôs beauty.
The town of Aznakayevo is the rayon‚Äôs administrative center. The nearest railway stations (along the Ulyanovsk ‚ÄĒ Ufa line) are Yutaza and Bugulma. Aznakayevo is 376 km to south-east from Kazan. The town was founded in the first half of the 18th century‚Äôs. It is interesting to note that this land was bought from landowners for only‚Ä¶ 30 rubles, according to the treaty which is dated July 1, 1743. The first official mention of the settlement in the 1762 census indicates that by that time 74 men of ‚Äútaxable estates‚ÄĚ had lived there. Aznakayevo turns into volost‚Äô center by 1861.
With the advent of the new regime it was in Aznakayevo that the local village Soviet was situated. Aznakayevo obtains the town status in March, 1987. Today its total population accounts for more than 34000 people. Year after year the living standards here are rising. Mineral resource base of these lands matters. It is here where the biggest oil-field in the Republic of Tatarstan ‚ÄĒ Romashkinskoye ‚ÄĒ is located. In recent years oil and gas extracting activities have been actively developing. Also there are machinery and metal-working, food and light industries‚Äô enterprises in the region. Agriculture is one of priorities in the rayon‚Äôs daily life.
A lot of attention is paid to inhabitants‚Äô healthcare issues. New module-based medical assistance units are opened in rural settlements. As for the figures, every fifth inhabitant of the rayon goes in for sport. The local sanatorium is widely known not only among the inhabitants of Aznakayevsky rayon, it is also famous Tatarstan-wide. A genuine pyramid was built on its territory (surely, it‚Äôs smaller than its Egyptian ideal ancestor!) The pyramid in Aznakayevo possesses unique healing properties: it is worth taking a short medicinal session inside and after that a person is ‚Äúcharged‚ÄĚ with striking energy. Science cannot to date explain the nature of this phenomenon.
Many famous names are linked with the lands of Aznakayevo. For instance, Makhmut Khasanov and Marsel Galiev (both are laureates of the Gabdulla Tuqay State Award), Honoured Artists of Russian Federation and Republic of Tatarstan Nazhiba Ikhsanova and Azgar Shakirov have brought glory to the rayon. Aznakayevo is also the birthplace of popular Tatar singer Zainap Farkhetdinova.