Bilasuvar

As a matter of fact, there are no historical and natural monuments to talk about here. The saline territory with no vegetation along the Salyan-Bilasuvar road is extremely hot in the summer. The lakes emerging here in winter are full of migrant birds. This, however, is not enough to make the boring journey more lively. The monument to A. Pushkin in the center of the district is still there. A village where the Russians were once settled was named after the Russian poet. When Bilasuvar was established as a district, it was also called Pushkin. The historical mistake made in the Soviet time was rectified in 1991, when Azerbaijan regained its independence. There are not too many places of interest in the quiet southern district.

Note

The distance to Baku is 180 km. It was established in 1930, in 1938 joined to Jalilabad District, while in 1964 it became a separate district again. Located in the south-west and south of the Mugan plain, Bilasuvar shares a 64-km border with Iran. It is one of the three districts divided by the Aras river. One half of it is north and the other is south of the river. There is a customs checkpoint here.

Bolqar river

It has historically had different names: Sanbachay, Qalabachay, Sirinsu, etc., but on official maps it is rendered as the Bolqar river. The name relates to a Turkic tribe. The remains of Agdam fortresses above the river have survived to the present day. Tamerlane is said to have stopped by the fortress after crossing the Kura river in 1395.

In 1992, Baydili village resident Agarahim Teymurlu discovered buried treasures from a grain field in the vicinity of what is believed to have been an ancient town. Although many of the discovered coins have now been lost, 351 silver coins of Sassanid rulers attributed to the 3-7th centuries are now kept at the Azerbaijan History Museum.

History

This is a medieval urban settlement. Historian Hamdullah Gazvini (12th century) wrote that the town was established by Amir Pilasuvar in the 10th century, hence its name. It went into decay in the 14th century due to feudal stand-offs. Some researchers suggest that Bilasuvar was not built in the 10th century, claiming that the historical monuments discovered here are attributed to more ancient times. It is therefore believed that the town dates back at least to the 5th century. The Mugan plain, Bilasuvar and Agdam were very conducive to human life in the middle ages due to their mild climate, proximity to the river, abundance of drinking water springs and fauna. After Azerbaijan was divided into two parts following the signing of the Turkmenchay treaty in 1828, the part of the town that remained in the Russian empire was destroyed. In 1914, Bolsheviks restored their southern borders and cut off the regional population’s ties with their relatives in Iran.

Historical monuments

The Shahriyar fortress, the Agdam tower, the Toragay and Nargiz tops are the district’s best known mounds and historical monuments. But if you travel to the places, all you will see is empty land. Since the fortresses were made of sand, not rock, there are hardly any traces of them. Most of these sites are under ground and since no archeological research has been carried out, there is not much to see. Bilasuvar is considered part of the historical Mugan lands.

Mugan

Yusif Vazir Camanzaminli wrote in his “Historical, geographical and economic Azerbaijan”:
“There are stories about Mugan or Muqan being linked to Mugan bin Yasəf. Mugan is now located in Azerbaijan’s east, near the Baku sea. One of its towns was Bajravan. Marino Sanuto from Venice wrote on his map that Tatars used to winter in the Mugan desert… During the time of Gubad Shah, Mugan was supplied with water and improved. The Kafar irrigation ditch from those days was used until the times of Genghis Khan. Mongol attacks eliminated all cultural life in Mugan. In 1288-1290, during Golden Horde attacks on Azerbaijan, the Elkhani ruler Argun Khan’s (1282-1291) camp was based here. A short while later, Tamerlane restored the ancient ditches, revitalizing life in the desert. Although improvement work lasted until the time of Nadir Shah, Bilasuvar went into decay in the 14th century and became a small settlement. Following the 1828 Turkmenchay treaty, Mugan was annexed by Russia. The Russians soon initiated the construction of roads to the desert to ensure their domination in the region. The Mugan desert was gradually revived in the Czar’s rule as Russian immigrants were settled here. Noted for its high-quality cotton, Mugan soon became home to many Russian settlements.”

Place-name

It is believed that this is where two tribes, called Biyar and Suvar, merged and heroically fought against the enemy. Subsequently the name was applied to the whole territory. It is also said that it is a crossing for soldiers on horseback and messengers. Researcher K. Gan suggests that the place-name was built from words “bela”, “su” and “var”. Other researchers believe that the place-name has been derived from Persian and Arab words such as bala, suvar, bela. It is an ethnicon with the words sabir and sibir.

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