Administrative center: Sarmanovo
Area: 1385.20 sq.km
The main local sight is the unique old Sarmanovsky copper mine, whose exact age is still unknown. The development of copper mining in the vicinity of Sarmanovo began in times immemorial, even before the Common Era. The extraction of ore continued in more recent times â€” the 18th and 19th centuries.
The old Sarmanovsky mine is often referred to as "Bakyr-bazy", which can be translated from Tatar as "the copper cellar." There are different versions of its history: some claim that the mine was started by Swedish POWs in the aftermath of the Northern Wars of early 18th century, some of whom had previously worked as mining engineers.
Today there are five major sites with traces of underground mining around Sarmanovo. Some historical sources suggest that some passages and trunks in the old mine near a spring called Kara-Karshy Chishma may have been used as a shelter for the defeated rebels of the Pugachev army for some time after the revolt.
Villagers of Sarmanovsky rayon mainly worked agriculture. Among the few industrial villages the most well-known was Yazykovo, an estate owned by Grigory Stakheyev and Sons Co. It featured a forestry and a cattle breeding farm, Petrovsky wine distillery (since 1891), a brickyard and several mills.
The area is located in the lower north-eastern part of East Trans-Kama, at the confluence of the rivers and Menzelya and Mellya in the river Ik basin. The villages are surrounded with forests and grasslands. The Bugulma-Belebey Uplands, with its hills 120 â€” 260 m high, which start right at the borders of the rayon, provide a special charm to the rayonâ€™s landscape. The rayon was formed on August 10, 1930. Its administrative center is the village of Sarmanovo, which now has the population of almost 6500. The village was first mentioned in historical records under the year 1737, and is considered, like many other rural settlements, to be bearing the name of its founder, a man named Sarman. In the north Sarmanovsky rayon borders on Tukayevsky, in the east, on Aznakayevsky and Muslyumovsky, in the south, on Almetyevsky, and in the west, on Zainsky rayon.
Administratively, the rayon comprises one urban and twenty-two rural settlements, bringing together sixty eight smaller locations.
Sarmanovo is located 296 km east of Kazan and 110 km north of the nearest railway station (Bugulma), on the River Menzelya (the ex-tributary of the Ik, now flows into the Nizhnekamsk Reservoir). An important highway passes through the rayon. The oil industry is well-developed here, since Sarmanovsky rayon is home to two largest divisions of Tatneft JSC â€” Jalilneft NGDU and Mellyaneft JSC.
The soils around Sarmanovo are highly fertile, and the rayon is actively developing its agro- industrial facilities. The main branch of the rayonâ€™s economy is agriculture, with special emphasis on crop cultivation and animal breeding. Three agricultural companies and more than 30 farms operate on its territory. Among the major sectors of agriculture are the production of grain and industrial crops, meat and dairy farming.
Winter and spring wheat is cultivated, alongside with winter rye, oats, peas, industrial crops such as sugar beet and rapeseed, and fodder crops â€” both perennial and annual grasses and corn silage.
Sarmanovsky rayon is known for its high quality agricultural education. Sarmanovsky Agricultural College is the main institution responsible for training professionals in the field of agriculture and related industries. The area is home to about 500 enterprises and over 700 entrepreneurs. There has been a steady growth of investment in fixed assets. In the recent years, the rayon has had a positive experience of attracting investment.
The township of Jalil, where Jalilneft NGDU and Mellyaneft have built their head offices, has recently got its own ice arena, used by the local Neftyanik Ice Hockey Club.
The importance of Jalilneft for its mother company, Tatneft JSC, and for the whole rayon is hard to overestimate. Oil production in Jalilneft accounts for about 18% of Tatneftâ€™s total. In 2001, the company celebrated the extraction of the 500,000,000th ton of local oil. Yet, the economic development of the rayon rests on agriculture rather than oil extraction.
A lot is done in the rayon to preserve its culture and traditions. Folk bands and a folk theater give performances to crowds of supporters. Dance groups, single-row accordion bands, applied folk art studios are also very popular. Sarmanovsky rayon has two museums: the World War II and Local History Museum in Sarmanovo, opened during the celebration of the 65th anniversary of WWII victory, and the museum in the Murtysh-Tamak village (part of the National Museum of the Republic of Tatarstan).
The rayon is the birthplace for many outstanding folk and classical singers â€” Ilham Shakirov, Zuhra Sahabieva, Zuhra Sharifullina, Guldaniya Hairullina. Many other well-known figures of Tatarstanâ€™s culture of Tatarstan lived and worked in Sarmanovo, such as Alsou Hisamieva or Vasil Ahmetshin. A big favorite with Sarmanovoâ€™s youth are the Khat band â€” winners of the 2002 Tatar Yashlerenen Global Herekete show business award in the â€śDiscovery of the Yearâ€ť nomination. People of Sarmanovo like music and songs â€” it is not a surprise that the rayonâ€™s coat of arms features a singing nightingale...