|City & Municipality|
|• Total||1,503.7 km2 (580.6 sq mi)|
|• Density||53.53/km2 (138.6/sq mi)|
|Time zone||AZT (UTC+4)|
|• Summer (DST)||AZT (UTC+5)|
Agstafa raion was created on 24 January 1939 as an independent administrative unit out of larger Qazakh region of Azerbaijan. On 4 December 1959, the status of the raion was abolished and it was incorporated into Qazakh Rayon. Then on 14 April 1990 by the decree of the Council of Deputees of Azerbaijan SSR, it was split from Qazakh raion and was again re-established as a separate raion. The regional center of the raion is its capital Ağstafa. The raion is located in the northwestern part of the country, between Qabirri basin and Lesser Caucasus mountain range, and Ganja-Qazakh lowlands and Ceyrançöl highlands. It is sandwiched by Qazakh raion in the west and Tovuz raion in east, and borders Armenia on the southern frontier and Georgia on the northern. The area of the raion is 1,503.7 km2. There are 36 villages in the raion. There are 39 secondary schools, lyceum, musical school, 2 museums, 38 cultural clubs, State Arts Gallery, 49 libraries, 3 city and 10 village hospitals functioning in the raion. Ganja, Qazakh and Qarayazi lowlands make up the most of the raion's area, whilst its southwestern and northeastern parts comprise lesser mountain sites.
The area's name comes from the name of the Oghuz Turks which include mainly the population of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan. Ağstafa is a merger of two words: Oğuz + tayfa (Oghuz + tribe). However, some people argue that it is a merger of the other two words which are: Oğuz + təpə (Oghuz + hill).
The region is rich with bentonite, sand, raw cement material (volcanic ash) and other resources which are considered a core of the Agstafa economy. Kura River passes through the region. Lower sections of Aghstafa and Həsənsu rivers also flow through the raion. Agstafa has always been in the spotlight because of the historic Silk Way trade which went through the region. Caravans from and to Georgia and Iran would stop in Agstafa. It was therefore named the "Camel route". In the 1990s, the caravan route was re-established within the TRACECA project initiated by Heydar Aliyev administration. Then Agstafa gained importance when it became a transit route on the Baku-Tbilisi railroad built in 1881. A railroad junction at Agstafa was built in 1914 thus creating leading to construction of Agstafa city. In addition to the existing railway, the geostrategic importance of Agstafa was enriched by Baku-Gazakh-Tbilisi gas pipeline, Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline.
Tourism & Historical Monuments
- Paleolithic tent settlement(Paleolithic)- village Kochesker
- Open Palaeolithic tent(Paleolithic)- village Tatli
- Toyratepe settlement(neolith(late Stone Age)-Bronze Age)-village Ashagi Goychali
- 1st Shomutepe settlement (neolith)-Aghstafa city
- Gargalar hill settlement (neolith)-village Girili
- Arzamastepe settlement (neolith)-settlement Vurgun
- Molla Nagi hill (Stone Age-eneolith)-village Kochesker
- Kichik tepe settlement (Stone Age, eneolith and Bronze Age)-village Ashagi Goyjali
- Chapiish settlement (eneolith-Bronze Age)-surrounding of Hasangulu river
- Chinlitepe settlement (eneolith)-village Tatli
- Ancient settlement and graveyard (choban dashi)(Bronze Age-Early Iron Age)-village Dagkesemen
- Jantepe settlement (Bronze Age)-Aghstafa city
- Sari gaznag graveyard (Bronze Age)- village Kochesker
- Alchagtepe settlement (Bronze Age-Iron Age)-village Tatli
- Alchagtepe settlement (Bronze Age)-village Tatli
- Gabagtepe settlement (Bronze Age-Iron Age)- village Pirili
- Yastitepe settlement (late Bronze Age)- Aghstafa city
- Durnatepe settlement(late Bronze Age-early Iron Age)- village Kochesker
- Boyuktepe settlement(late Bronze Age-early Iron Age)- village Kochesker
- Hasarlitepe settlement(late Bronze Age-early Iron Age)-village Yukhari Goyjali
- Saritepe settlement (late Bronze Age-early Iron Age)- village Yukhari Goyjali
- Goshatepe settlement (late Bronze Age-Iron Age)-village Yukhari Goyjali
- Hasarligala ancient settlement(late Bronze Age-Iron Age)-village Tatli
- 2nd Shomutepe settlement (Bronze Age-early Iron Age)- village Yukhari Goyjali
- Nadir bey hill settlement (late Bronze Age)-village Hasansu
- Agalig tepesi settlement (late Bronze Age-early Iron Age)-Aghstafa-Gazakh highway
- Aranchi hill settlement(late Bronze Age- Iron Age)- Aghstafa-Dagkesemen highway
- Deyirmantepe settlement (late Bronze Age- early Middle Age)- Dagkesemen highway
- Agtepe settlement (late Bronze Age-antic period)-village Ashagi Goyjali
- Maraltepe settlement (late Bronze Age-antic period)- village Ashagi Goyjali
- Shish Guzey sacred place (Iron Age)- village Kochesker
Ancient to modern monuments
- The David Gareja monastery complex (Keşiş Dağ in Azerbaijani) is partially located in this region and is subject to a border dispute between Georgian and Azerbaijani authorities.
- Nekropol (antic period)-village Pirili
- Tatli Albanian temple (early Middle Ages)-between the villages Yukhari Goychali and Tatli
- Construction forked mountain air(middle age)- village Kochesker
- Settlement (4th-7th centuries)-village Dagkesemen
- Underground water-supply system(19th century)-village Kolkhalafli.
Prominent people from Agstafa
- Sabir Azer (1938-2010) - Writer, author of best selling books.
- Aslan Aslanov (1926–1995) - Doctor of philosophical sciences, the real member of the NA of the Republic of Azerbaijan, deserved scientific figure, rector of Azerbaijan State University of Arts (1977), the vice-president of the Azerbaijan Academy of Sciences and director of the Institute of Philosophy and Law(1988–1995).
- Baba Mirzayev (1940-2006) - The National artist of the Azerbaijan Republic
- Bayram Bayramov (1935) - Candidate of technical sciences, owner of the order of "Glory", pensioner by the President, deserved rationalizer of Azerbaijan, the deputy of the chairman of Oil and Gas Extraction Office "Neft Dashlari" (from 1987).
- Huseyn Arif (1924-1992) - poet
- Ibrahim Rahimov (1849–1927) - The first psychiatrist-doctor of Azerbaijan.
- Ilyas Abdullayev (1913) the academician of NA of Azerbaijan SSR, the deputy of the chairman of the Council of the Ministers of Azerbaijan SSR (1948–1950), Minister of Agriculture (1950–1953), the first deputy of the chairman of the Council of the Ministers (1954–1958), the chairman of Presidium of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan SSR (1958–1959), the deputy of the Supreme Councils of USSR and Azerbaijan SSR.
- Isa Huseynov (1928) - writer
- Museyib Allahverdiyev (1909–1969)- Hero of the Soviet Union(1945), commander of detachment.
- Nariman Hasanzade (1931) - poet
- Nizami Jafarov (1954) - philologist
- Nusrat Kasamanli (1946-2003) - poet
- Samedaga Agamalioglu(1867–1930)-famous revolutionary, the first deputy of Azerbaijan CEC (1921), the chairman of CEC of Azerbaijan SSR, one of the chairmen of CEC of TSFSR (1922–1929), the chairman of the committee of All-Union New Tukrish alphabet.
- Suleyman Tatliyev (1925)-the chief of the department of the affairs at the Council of the Ministers (1970–1978), the 1st deputy of the chairman of the Council of the Ministers (1978–1985), the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic (1985–1989), the president of the House of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan(from 1994), deputy of the Supreme Council of Azerbaijan SSR.
- Vidadi Babanli (1927) - writer
- Population by economic and administrative regions of the Azerbaijan Republic, The State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan
- Ağstafa rayonu. Retrieved September 28, 2010
- Ağstafa şəhəri. Retrieved September 28, 2010
- Michael Mainville (2007-05-03). "Ancient monastery starts modern-day feud in Caucasus". Middle East Times. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-06-23.