Administrative center: Muslyumovo
Area: 1464.3 sq.km
Where in Tatarstan can you find the longest bridge which takes two full hours to pass? It is in the village of Bayukovo, across the river Sarashly. The bridge marks the border between Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, which lies in a different time zone. This is why the bridge always takes two hours to cross.
This area is stunningly beautiful. The climate is extremely continental, with Tatarstan’s highest temperatures in the summer, and the lowest, in the winter. The picturesque river Ik, which takes its head in the Republic of Bashkortostan, flows through Bavlinsky and Aznakayevsky rayons and cuts Muslyumovsky rayon into two parts, providing vital energy to the area. The rayon is rich in mineral resources. Copper has been mined here since times immemorial. In the 18th century, a copper smelter was built near the village of Olgino. It was long believed that the rayon has some gold veins, but of all types of gold it is the “black” one (oil) which is now extracted in Muslyumovo.
One of the theories of the origin of the name Muslyumovo (the village is known since 1748) derives the toponym from the personal name of its founder, Muslumi, who had moved here from the village of Stary Varyash. The new hamlet soon got a marketplace, and thus a new name, Bazarny Varyash (Varyash Market). Prior to 1920, Muslyumovo was part of Irehtinskaya volost’ of the Ufa gubernia, and later was subsumed into Menzelinsky Kanton of Tatarstan.
But let us leave Muslyumovo for a while and head only 35 km to the west. We find ourselves in a beautiful place called Urazmetyevo, on the banks of the river Sikia. The village was first mentioned in 1735. Its residents at that time were farmers, cattle breeders and beekeepers. By the end of the 19th century the village, like many of its type, had experienced a growth, bringing the population to 365 men and 381 women. The village has its own bais (richest peasants) — Biktimerov, Galimardanov and Shaihelislamov, all of whom had their own mills. There were two mosques and a boys-only confessional school (the first secular school was opened here as late as in 1923, under the Soviet regime, which also introduced such novelties as the community center, library, infirmary and the village store).
The aura of this place is second to none in the whole world. Sitting on the banks of the Sikia rivulet, you can see the vast expanses around and allow your thoughts to carry you far back into history.
Volga Bolgaria had been trying to expand its power onto these lands. The east of Trans-Kama was less densely populated than its west. In the basin of the river Ik, Bolgars were living side by side with the Ugro-Finnic tribes. After the fall of Volga Bolgaria, its residents started a massive relocation to the east, where the foothills of the Urals lay. They were mixing with other Turkic groups, especially the Kipchaks (Nogais).
In the period of the Kazan Khanate, the relocation of the Volga Tatars into Trans-Kama continued, although even by mid-16th century the Kama lands were still sparsely populated. After the fall of the Khanate, another wave of massive migration began, where Tatars were joined by other peoples (Chuvash, Udmurt, Mari) in their flight towards the Urals. Trans-Kama lands underwent a large-scale farmer colonization. The Russian state soon followed the fugitives, sending a number of servitors to settle here.
The first villages in Muslyumovsky rayon were founded in the late 16th and early 17th century, such as Verkhny Tabyn and Nizhny Tabyn (‘Tabyn’ is a word of Nogai origin) , Tamyan, Bolshoi Chekmak, or in later 17th century, such as Varyashbash, Stary Varyash, Kryash Shuran, Priyut Shuran (all of which have Finno-Ugric names), Bayukovo and Mellyatamak.
The rayon has 25,000 hectares of woodlands, which makes both residents and tourists enjoy living or staying here. Riding along the roads of the rayon in the summer, especially after a rainfall, you can feel how sweet and fresh the air is.
Today, Muslyumovsky rayon comprises 71 settlements of all types, mostly populated by ethnic Tatars.
Many schools and kindergartens are open in the area, including a boarding school for children with special needs. Muslyumovo’s vocational college No.94 lives as one family where everybody loves and respects their homeland. There are a lot of young people in the rayon, and they have a lot of choices for their employment and recreation. The Mizgel youth center has recently been renovated and reopened. Now it is the venue for a lot of rayon-level events, family holidays. It also has a wellness facility, providing massage services, a sauna and a pool to its visitors, a coffee bar, a computer lab and a photo studio.
The Yunost (Youth) Sports and Health Center includes areas for team sports, a hockey rink, a tennis court, a football pitch with artificial turf and several running tracks. All of these are available not only for sporting events, but also for the daily training sessions of amateur sportsmen. One of the former Muslyumovo students, a native of the village of Novye Usy Viktor Matveyevich Shadrin, has won the championship of Europe in rowing.
The economy of Muslyumovsky rayon is mainly focused on agriculture, with grain farming, cattle breeding (dairy and beef) and poultry farming as its leading branches. The crops cultivated here include winter rye, spring wheat, barley, oats and peas.
The local media is attentive to the achievements of the past and plans for the future. The most popular periodical in Muslyumovo is the local newspaper Avyl Utlary / Selskiye Ogni (Rural lights).
During the 80 years of its history, the paper has changed many names, but has never lost the trust and confidence of its readers. Muslyumovo has a local radio and TV station, as well as an official information-rich website of the rayon.
Local journalists have a lot to cover. Often, they give the floor to the “next street heroes”, who speak of themselves and of their work on the pages of the media. Muslyumovo lands have given birth to many a famous person, including Heroes of the Soviet Union Gimazetdin Vazetdinovich Vazetdinov, Pyotr Alekseyevich Dneprov and Ildar Mannanovich Mannanov.
On May 9, 2004 a new World War II memorial was opened in Muslyumovo, and the Eternal Flame was lit. The memorial is devoted to all heroes of World War II, both renowned and unknown, of the war in Afghanistan and of heroes of labor as well. The memorial features busts of Heroes of the Soviet Union, Socialist Labor and Companions of the Order of Glory I, II and III class, who were natives of the area. Old military equipment and weaponry add to the atmosphere of the place. Undoubtedly, the memorial will be a piece of great cultural heritage for people of the rayon, contributing to the civic education of its young, who will always remember the history of their country. Let heroes of the war and labor never be forgotten on this earth!