Takagashka-batyr

About 400 years ago the Trans-Urals Bashkort's kin lived in the village of Old Muynak. They were constantly fighting with Kalmyks. The forefather of the kin was the batyr Uthagol by name. He repulsed many attacks of the Kalmyks in his life-time.

Year passed. One day the Kalmyks sent their envoy to old Uthagol The envoy said that the Bashkorts had to share their land with the Kalmyks. If they did not, the Kalmyks would bring a powerful army and begin a war. But Uthagol rejected such conditions and offered his own one: two batyra from both sides would have a fight near a mountain three sakrym* from the village of Kart-Muynak. And whose batyr would win the tournament, that tribe will have the land.The Kalmyk envoy saw a bowr hanging on an iron crook in Uthagol's house and he wanted to try his ability to shoot. He took that bow in his hands but he couldn't use it, he even had not strength enough to hang it back, so he left it at that very place. Having returned, he told of everything he had seen and heard in the land of Bashkorts to his chief. As soon as the envoy had left, old Uthagol called his younger brother Takagashka. His true name was Irithkuya* He was bald, that is why he had the nickname Takagashka. He was a very big and strong fellow. Uthagol asked him; "My younger brother, now you are a yeget*. Have you ever tried your strength?" "No, I haven't. But when I squeezed a bundle of meadow-sweet, a stream of water poured down from it," be replied. Then Uthagol spoke thus: "Be aware: you are to fight with the Kalmyk strongest batyr. He will be brought by the Kalmyks on a lasso. He is wild. He'll be bellowing fiercely like a crazy bull, he'll be scratching the soil and hurling it around. Moreover he'll be naked and his body will be greased with oil. When he approaches you at a distance of two spears' length, the Kalmyks will remove the lasso and he'll rush at you. While fighting he will try to crawl between your legs, then you should grab him by his ribs and throw up."

The appointed day of the fight came. Uthagol and his people came to the place of the tournament by the mountain. Soon Kalmyks appeared. As Uthagol had predicted, the Kalmyk batyr was bellowing like a bull, scratching the soil and hurling it around. When he approached Takagashka, the Kalmyks let go of the lasso and he rushed at Takagashka. Fighting began. Excited crowds from two sides were cheering their batyrs. When the Kalmyk batyr tried to crawl between Tekegashka's legs, the Bashkort batyr seized his two lower ribs, lifted him and threw up in the air. Each of the two ribs stayed in Takagashka's hands. Having witnessed their batyr's defeat, the Kalmyks turned their heels away. Those who remained began to glorify Takagashka and arranged a horse-race, then a feast in honour of the victory, had a good time there and returned to their families. Since this event the mountain has been called Shartym which means the mount of condition.

Uthagol called the batyr again and gave him the following piece of advice: "Now, my dear, you've tried your power. You have saved our land from plunder. But be on the alert, soon another Kalmyk batyr will appear. He will be riding a horse. Do not plunge your spear into his head but into his horse's head. The horse will begin to turn round and while his master is trying to cope with him, plunge your spear into his armpits." Soon the Kalmyks came again. Takagashka did as Uthagol had told him: first he plunged the spear in the head of the galloping horse, and then defeated the rider. Once more the Kalmyks had to take their departure. And again there were horse-races and the feast. Filled with joy, the Bashkorts moved to the foot of the mountain not far from Shartym that summer. That mountain got the name Kuwandyk (We are filled with joy).

Now the small town Kuwandyk is situated in Orcngburg province. Raids of Kalmyks and Kazakhs stopped only when Bashkorts joined Russia. White Tsar, or Russian Tsar senthis Cossacks to guard borders. They settled on Bashkort lands and new Cossack villages appeared in this area. Since then wars between Bashkorts and Kalmyks have ended

Nowadays there is a railway road near Shartym mountain. Shartym is a railway station of Miass-Uchaly rail communication.