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 Mughan 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.

• Historical monuments

The Shahriyar fortress, the Aghdam 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 Mughan lands.

 • Bolgar river

It has historically had different names: Sanbachay, Galabachay, Shirinsu, etc., but on official maps it is rendered as the Bolgar river. The name relates to a Turkic tribe. The remains of Aghdam 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 Aghara­him 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.

• Mughan

Yusif Vazir Chamanzaminli wrote in his “Historical, geographical and economic Azerbaijan”:“There are stories about Mughan or Mug­han being linked to Mughan bin Yasef. Mughan 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 Mughan desert… During the time of Gubad Shah, Mughan 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 Mug­han. 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, Mughan was annexed by Russia. The Russians soon initiated the construction of roads to the desert to ensure their do­mination in the region. The Mughan de­sert was gradually revived in the Czar’s rule as Russian immigrants were settled here. Noted for its high-quality cotton, Mughan soon became home to many Russian settlements.”

• 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 Mughan plain, Bilasuvar and Aghdam 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.

• 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.