Down the ages the Tupkaragan bay is considered to be a good harbour for navigation. In the middle of the XIX century the Russian traveler M. Mikhailov wrote: “the Alexander fort harbour is a good and closed from winds station. The bay surface is 27000 square sazhen, the depth is 3 and 9 sazhen. In the essay “Life of Kazakh steppes” exiled Polish revolutionist B. Zalesskiy called this bay “Novopetrovskiy”, because he was serving his exile in Novopetrovskiy fortification situated on the coast of the bay. He described it as: “Mangyshlak peninsula situated on the north-southern coast of the Caspian Sea has many bays. The most convenient concerning the location formed by the overhand Tupkaragan cape Novopetrovskiy fortification, which was built several years ago in this bay, gave its name for the whole roadstead. Concerning the prospects this pace should connect trade roads of Europe and Central Asia. Coasts surrounding the roadstead never flood 3km from the sea a chain of gray desert hills stretches. There are many lime lays. A small little steppe fortress was built on these hills. There is absolutely flat empty area between the roadstead and the fortress. There are 2 absolutely salty lakes in this area. There is an old Kazakh graveyard between the fortress and lakes. Near the roadstead on the little sand ledge which covered with shells is situated a line of small houses. It was a settlement of Russian colonists. Settlers get flour and food due to this fortress. They do not have space even for small gardens. They mostly fishing. Gradually trade relations with Central Asia are developing. Small ships of Astrakhan merchants travel this way. Ice covering this part of the Caspian sea in winter, cuts off the connection with Astrakhan and opposite coasts making the trade difficult. Many seals are caught in the Novopetrovskiy bay, and people seals’ fat”. The largest bay in this region in the west is completed with Tupkaragan spit, which 2, 5 miles comes out from the mountainous part of the Mangyshlak peninsula. It is known for sure that in XVIII-XIX c. the western part of the spit was a commercial landing for merchants who carried over their European goods to the east. The eastern part of the spit was called a military landing. In 1850 a ship with Ukrainian artist and poet Taras Shevchenko came to this landing. He was exiled to Mangyshlak for 7 years.
In “Short Review of Mangystau region (1932) described the originality of this place: “You can notice the relief difference of shores just forthcoming to the bay on your schooner. The sea is bright-green, the water is very clear so you can see ships on the 20-25m. depth that drowned during the times of intervention you can see this all at the bottom of the Tjub-Karagan bay. There are several ships of English interventionists who came here on the warship from storms. One more name of the bay is the Alexander bay after the name of coastal city Alexander-Fort.
Mangyshlak bay waters wash the west coast of the peninsula Buzachi and the north coast of the peninsula Tupkaragan. The bay waters are slightly remote from the peninsula with the same name Mangyshlak.
The Mangyshlak bay peak is called the Kochak bay Historical facts say about the Kochak landing existence in XVI century. There a well with the same name in the east of this bay. Concerning the E. Omirbaev legend once upon a time 2 clans were living on this land, they were Salor and Ozhak. They were always fighting for the land. Many warriors were killed from both tribes. One day elder men decided there would be enough place in the sun for all of people and declared cessation of arms. But their happiness was interrupted by news that Salor people killed the leader of Ozhak family. Steppe people were shocked, because of such falsity of the Salor. Wandering people supported the Ozhak on the peninsula. In Tartaly area they decided to expel steppe laws breakers. The Salor had to leave the island. Kochak was buried on the bay coast. A well was ditched for all travelers and wandering people. For people could drink, quench their thirst, give to drink their cattle and remember the worthy warrior Ozhak.
The bloody event “Peasants rebellion in 1870” went down in history. The reason for peasant’s rebellion was scot increasing for poor peasant people living on the Caspian coast. Bread was not easy in the desert, that’s why people rebelled in Ushaus ravine. In spite of weak equipment rebels greatly opposed the enemy army. The rebels suffered a defeat, but autarchies listened to nation voice and reduced the scot. A monument was built for rebellion organizers: Isa Tilendiev and Dosan Tadzhiev in Fort-Shevchenko city.
Another name of Sarytysh bay is “Carboniferous”. In 1851 Orenburg governor general V. Obruchev organized geological survey with the aim of carboniferous research in Karatau mines opened in 1846-1849. Lieutenant A. Autipov was appointed a head of the research. Political exiled such as T. Shevchenko, B. Zalesskiy, L. Turno took part in this expedition. Antipov wrote in his notes published in “Mountain magazine”:”Beginning with the west Karatau terminus, the first coalfield is found at the bottom of the mountain uplift and near the Apazhar well, in the distance of 75 verst from Novopetrovskiy fortress, and about 30 verst from the Kochak bay. Coal shed is found here about 3, 5 verst away. Exploring shaft showed there is coal shed 18 vershok width calley-stone banks. During the survey 1000 vershok of earthy brown coal were excavated”. The second minefield was 35 km. away the Agaspeyar district: “The coal vein width was less than 6 vershok. The survey was limited to one explicit inspection, because of coal vein steep position and poor rocks”.
In the middle of July 1851 the expedition finished their inspection of eastern Karatau part. Participants had to admit they had not found any good coal for industrial use. Only a ton of coal was mined for shipping to Novopetrovskiy fortress. However in Russia the industry was developing and people had lack of “black fuel”. That time “Coal testing was conducted on steam military and commercial ships, and also in mountain department. They determined coal quality. In 1869 “Caucasus and Mercury” association made mine workings, but Adaev revolt in the beginning of 1870 in Mangyshlak disturbed their works.
Thus in the beginning of the II world war this coal epic work was going on. During the Great war 8 mines were opened in Tauchika district. During the main Ukraine coal-mining basins occupation by fascist aggressors, Mangyshlak mines were the only source of “black” fuel. When people are cold, they do not care about coal quality. Old people remember how big became Tauchik, and became the center of coal mining. Narrow-gauge railway was buit there for coal transportation from mines to the Sarytash bay, from Sarytash bay coal was transported to Astrakhan, Makhachkala and Baku. This railway was striped long time ago, but people is trying to find trucks of that coal-mining epopee. The steam truck loaded with coal is still in the Tauchik school yard as a memory of the past. Tauchik was a big coal-mining region.
/From the book N. Zaderetckaya «Tupkaragan - cradle Mangistau», translated by V. Gonchar/