Popa

The most popular excursion from Bagan is to the nat temple of Popa Taung Kalat,(an extinct volcano) also known as “Mount Popa”, 50 km (30 miles) southeast. For the inhabitants of the surrounding regions this seemed a true miracle and Popa soon became legendary as a home of gods associated with 37 Mahagiri Nat, or “Great Spirit Heroes”. Worshippers from all over Burma came here to propitiate the deities installed in the ancient temple complex at its base, whose focal point is a gallery containing images of the 37 principal nat, as well as various ogresses and other guardian spirits of water, trees and households. It is worth making the trip just for the views to be had from the top of the hill, which surveys an awesome sweep of mountainous landscape. To reach the top, you need to remove shoes and socks and climb the 777 steps to the summit. Along the way are a multitude of monkeys expecting treats. Sometimes they can get a little aggressive so it’s recommended that you keep a tight grip on your possessions. Come prepared if you plan to climb Popa Taung Kalat which takes less than half an hour and is very thirsty walk. Mount Popa is also famous for its natural pack, well maintain and conserve for eco-tourism.