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Bavlinsky Rayon


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Administrative center: Bavly
Area: 120.466 sq. km
Population: 36.200

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Its location within the Bugulma-Belebey Uplands predetermined the hilly relief of Bavlinsky Rayon lands. The local botanical landmark — Salikhovskaya Gora — is famous for its 72 plant species that are included into the Red Book of Tatarstan.

These lands are steeped in history. The decree Tsar Alexey signed in 1658 officially endowed the local pioneers with the right to settle in these lands. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the first settlement on the bank of the river Bally was started even earlier, in 1626. Its founders lived in mud huts and spent winters hunting and summers wild-hive beekeeping. The remains of those mud huts can still be seen on the western bank of the river Latyip, where it flows into the river Bally underneath a hill. According to an old legend, the river was then known as “Bally elga” — Honey River.

Three persons petitioned Tsar Alexey for permission to settle these lands. Their names were Yrys, Karman and Bibyldy. The Tsar’s Decree authorized Yrys Shayehdirbeshev as the principal settler. For his loyal service he was enlisted into the then the privileged estate of “Bashkirs” and given the title of a tarhan.

At the end of 17th century Bavly had 34 households with 112 male and 94 female inhabitants. The population of Bavly was at this time bigger than that of neighboring villages. The Bashkirs and tribute-paying Tatars constituted the majority of population. There were few service class Tatars or Mishars. In one of the documents found at Russian State Archive of Ancient Acts (TsGADA) one may find interesting facts about the daily life of Bavly in 1829. The main occupations for people of Bavly were arable farming and cattle breeding. When they had free time, women usually twisted yarn, weaved canvas and cloth, or did some knitting. One part of men (from the Bashkir estate) did military service in different forts on the Orenburg line. Yasak-peasants paid the tax (salym) to the treasury. Bavly had one mosque. By the mid-19th century the number of households and population in Bavly had seriously increased; statistical data as of 1859 show Bavly had 99 households with 415 male and 438 female inhabitants. In 1900 Bavly had two appointed mullahs: Sahabetdin Shamsetdinov and Kamaletdin Shamsetdinov.

By the end of the 19th century Bavly had as many as 274 households, three times as many as in mid-19th century, with 761 men and 763 women farming a total of 6280 dessiatinas of fertile and 200 dessiatinas of infertile lands. The village still had a functioning mosque and four water mills. Bavly had become a volost center and had its own entrepreneurs. Hafiz Sadykov was not only a water mill leaseholder, but also a wealthy merchant who traded in groceries and textiles. The owner of another grocery store was Shamsulla Ismagilov who had a fairly large household: 5 workhorses, 3 cows, many small cattle, 10 hives and also 20.44 dessiatins of plough lands were at his disposal.

These and other households were considered to be the wealthiest and the biggest in Bavly.

Apart from farming and cattle breeding, inhabitants of Bavly traded in horses, hunted and kept bee-gardens and millet-shellers. There were many craftsmen: blacksmiths, stove-makers, felt boots fullers, tailors, bast shoe (lapti) makers. By 1910 the overall amount of households had risen to 353, and the population consisted of 2057 men and 963 women. M.A. Butlerov’s farmstead and brickyard were located near Bavly. But soon World War I broke out: many men were mobilized, the size of cultivated areas shrunk, the amount of cattle in households decreased. Some of the households came into decline and went bankrupt.

The Revolution brought new changes into the life of Bavly. On 10 August, 1930 these lands had been organized into a rayon of the Tatar Autonomous Republic. Historically it turned out that different ethnicities have always populated the rayon territory.

All these ethnic groups now had to face the harsh and tough times of collectivization and war, to share successes and failures of their home country. Eight thousand citizens of Bavly defended the Soviet motherland at the World War II fronts. Many of them gave their lives for their country, and four of them became the Heroes of the Soviet Union, namely tankman Fatyh Zaripovich Sharipov (for Battle of the Dnieper), artillerist Gavriil Petrovich Yevseyev (Battle of Oder crossing), secret service agent Mikhail Petrovich Panarin (organized many risky operations, was decorated with the Star of Hero post mortem), frontier guard Ivan Dmitriyevich Zinovyev (for the War in Finland). Colonel Zinovyev was in charge of the legendary 393rd division of Donbass miners. He died a hero’s death in the fight against Fascists. To honor the heroes, the Eternal flame is lit and the Walk of heroes is opened at the Victory Park (Park Pobedy).

A new period in the rayon’s development is connected with the discovery of a Devonian oilfield in September 1946. By the time the first oilers had come to Bavly, automobile roads were absent, water and electricity supply was missing in many places.

The oil industry development contributed to active economy growth in the rayon. In order to supply the oil workers with everything they needed, roads were built, new industrial and agricultural enterprises put into service and a new infrastructure set up for the rayon. The settlement kept growing, young and skilled personnel came to work at local enterprises, new residential houses, schools, kindergartens, sports and culture palaces were built. On 18 September, 1997 the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan in its decree endowed Bavly with the status “city of republic significance”.

Lands of Bavlinsky Rayon are rich in oil, clay, limestone, gravel, broken stone deposits. There are also many forests in this region. Among the rayon’s industrial enterprises oil industry comprises the larger part of the bulk.

Construction, transport and services are also on the rise. In agriculture the priority is given to cattle breeding and the farming of spring wheat, winter rye, barley and peas. Around 4,000 children study in Bavly’s 24 schools. As for sports facilities, they are ample and include a total of 139 sports objects: a stadium, sports grounds, hockey rinks, hippodrome, a tennis court and an ice arena. The rayon also has its own cinema, museum and a school of arts.

Many outstanding people were born in Bavlinsky Rayon. For instance, Bavly is proud to be a birthplace of Udmurt and Finno-Ugric literature scholar Ivan Tarakanov, Tatar writers Mirgaziyan Yunus and Fanis Yarullin, writer and publicist Rafael Mustafin, writers Evgeny Samsonov, Timofei Timin, Asiya Yunusova, poet Rashit Akhmetzyanov, Kamal Tatar Theater actor Ildus Akhmetzyanov, composer Gans Saifullin, singer and composer Vil’ Usmanov.

It is an interesting fact that the sun in Bavly rises 20 minutes earlier than in Kazan!