Mount Popa volcano, well known as pilgrimage mountain for Myanmar, with numerous spirit homes at the summit, one of the famous extinct volcanoes, also popular for the Taungpyone festival which held every August, situated in Mandalay region and southeast of Bagan.
Mount Popa Hike
Mount Popa volcano is located and Mandalay region, southeast of Bagan. The peak of the Mount Popa volcano is brimful of the golden stupas. Firstly, there are many Myanmar folk tales about this mount. This mountain appeared because of the severe earthquake. The most important point is that the legends about spirit represent the inheritance of animism in Myanmar countryside. There were many legends before the age of Bagan King Anawrahta. People offered hundreds of animals to the spirit here. You have to take about 45 minutes to reach the summit and you will enjoy the panoramic view. If the weather is fine, you can view some temples in Bagan by chance. In order to access the peak, you have to take off shoes and socks and ascend 777 steps. Along these steps, there are Mount Popa monkeys awaiting the treats. These Mount Popa monkeys may look friend from a far distance. However these Mount Popa monkeys will try to hold up your foods, cameras or whatever they see.
Mount Popa History
Let us share about Mount Popa history. It was the accommodation of the Myanmar most compelling spirits and principal worship center. Therefore, people named it Myanmar’s mount Olympus. Another Mount Popa history is about the brother and sister of Mahagiri which means the Great Mountain. They are from the era of Tagaung kingdom at the superior reaches of the Ayeyarwaddy river. They requested to achieve a refuge from the King Thinligyaung of Bagan. Finally, the king granted their requests and revered on this mountain. The next Mount Popa history is about Popa Medaw, means the Great Mother of Mount Popa. According to Mount Popa history, there was the one who would like to eat flowers called Me Wunna. She was into Byatta, who gather flowers around Mount Popa and provide them to the King Anawrahta. Byatta was assassinated because of the transgression of the king who made rejection of liaison. After that, the king took Byatta’s son to the palace. Finally, Me Wunna passed away because of the broken heart and became spirit. However, their sons became the conqueror in the king’s favor. But they were assassinated like their parents because they omitted to serve their tasks in the construction of pagoda in Taungpyone. After that both of them also became powerful spirits but they stayed in Taungpyone, where the principal celebration of festival for spirits throughout Myanmar. Finally it becomes the well-known Mount Popa history among the locals. Even though, 37 spirits represent officially for Mount Popa, only four spirits such as Mahagiri, Byatt and Me Wunna have their homes in Mount Popa.
Festivals in Mount Popa
According to Mount Popa history, the locals who believe in spirits arrange the festivals for them. The first one is on the full moon of Nayon (May or June) and the second one is on the full moon of Nadaw (November or December). During the second festival, 37 Nats (guardian spirits) from across Myanmar gather at Mount Popa. The locals believe that celebrating this festival will bring the good fortune for the next year. At the festival, the men who supposed to be the followers of the spirits wear the bling bling dress and dance with Myanmar orchestra. Some audience offer them with money and hook it to their bling bling dresses and pray to have good luck for their future.
Mount Popa Monastery
Mount Popa monastery is also home to 37 spirits, which represent the statues at the bottom of the volcanic outcrop. The sheer rock faces embody the Mount Popa monastery. Moreover, this monastery is famous pilgrimage area for Buddhisms. After climbing over 750 steps, you will reach the Mount Popa monastery and 360 degree panorama will take away your exhausted feeling.
Mount Popa Resort
Mount Popa resort is also set near with the Mount Popa volcano. This Mount Popa resort will provide you the scenic and greenery views around Mount Popa volcano. Moreover, it will offer you the tranquil environment and the sun sets beyond the pool. This lovely and lonely Mount Popa resort located 2.5 miles from the northwest of Mount Popa volcano. Mount Popa resort has wood bungalows which set attractively with lush gardens and parallel view to Mount Popa volcano. You can admire the view of Mount Popa volcano while swimming in the pool of Mount Popa resort. Furthermore, have a breathtaking view of Mount Popa volcano from the good restaurant of Mount Popa resort.
Mount Popa Day Trip
You can take a Mount Popa day trip from Bagan. The way to Mount Popa will be attractive with the locals who just walk from markets to villages by carrying the stuffs on their head. You can see palm tree farms and enjoy the production of jaggery (palm sugar) during Mount Popa Day Trip. Before starting Mount Popa hike, there will be the small shops which are touristy. After climbing a few steps, Buddhist shrines and local food vendors will wait you. Most of the food vendors sell Myanmar traditional salad.
Have you ever tried the Myanmar traditional food, especially salad at the base of Mount Popa? Did you see and feed the monkeys while you were climbing Mount Popa? If you could share how you felt pleasure when you were at the top of Mount Popa, we would be great. Did you count the number of steps in Mount Popa? Let us know, please. After reading this post, please give us rating and share it to your friends. If there are any more information that we need to add, please advise us.
Would you like to enjoy your holidays in Myanmar? We would like to invite you to visit Myanmar including Mount Popa together with us. We can assure you that we will provide the blissful moment for you.