Located about 50km southwest of Bagan City, at the height of 1.518m above the sea, Mt. Popa is one of the main attractions in Bagan to visit on a Myanmar tour package. the highest point in the Bago Yoma mountain range. In the clear sky day, tourists can see the top of the mountain from the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) river.
Mount Popa is the religious center and the pride of Burmese people located in central Myanmar. The monastery on the mountain is a place to keep a lot of Buddha statues, and it also attracts many Buddhists from all over the country. The travelers have to climb777 steps to reach the top (about 45 minutes) with many shrines and monastery.
In addition, to enjoy the fresh air, views of nature and local people, the efforts of travelers are rewarded with the legend of the “NAT” (animist spirits), the temple is placed worshipping 37 Nats known as the saint of folk beliefs, the guardian of the destitute people in Myanmar.
From the top of Taung Kalat, visitors can enjoy the views of Popa National Park which is characterized by the dense sandalwood forests and many rare species of animals and birds. This place is worth to pay a visit. The other attractions in Mt. Popa include the Nat Pwes festival which annually held in May or June depending on Myanmar calendar. These spirits are evoked by so-called “Natkadaws” (mediums), who offer their bodies to individual ants. The nats still play an important part in many people’s lives in spite of the dominance of Buddhism. The Nats nowadays still play an important part in the spiritual life of Burmese people in spite of the dominance of Buddhism.