Legendary Mount Popa
06 Jun 2019 by Admin
Mount Popa Is an Ancient Volcano in Burma
The days of wandering in the ancient capital of Bagan Myanmar, we have heard about an ancient volcano, home to the mighty gods in the belief of Burma. The mystery of Mount Popa pulled us to travel on road, 50 kilometer southeast of the city in search of the Nats.
From the center of Bagan, 4-wheel vehicle runs through rugged trails lined with stretching fields on two sides. About an hour later, on the horizon appears a mount which looks like Fuji Mount in Japan. That's Mount Popa.
Popa Mount is considered the Burma's Fuji
Mount Popa is 1.518m high compared to sea level, located in central Myanmar, 50 kilometers southwest of Bagan town. On sunny days, one can see the mount from the Irrawaddy River when taking part in a Myanmar river cruise. Taung Kalat Peak is the most famous place of the mountain, a home to 37 Nats, also known as the saints in Burmese belief.
On the way to Taung Kalat, visitors stop many times to visit temples. At the place where 37 Nats are worshiped, we have chance to hear from the templekeepers about the legend of two brothers Mahagiri Nat (Dai Son) from the capital city of Tagaung at the far upstream of Irrawaddy River. They were concealed by the king Thinligyaung of Bagan. Their desire is that after passing away, their death is buried on Mount Popa. Their desire was satisfied. Two brothers Mahagiri became Nats who protected destitute people.
Another legend talks about Meday Popa (Popa’s royal mother. According to ancient tale, she was called Me Wunna who lived on Mount Popa and only ate flowers. She fell in love with Byatta, a royal soldier gathering flowers from Mount Popa for the king Anawrahta in Bagan (1044-1077). Byatta disobeyed the king, who opposed the marriage and their children were brought to the palace. Too painful, Me Wunna died together with Byatta and then became a Nat.
Her two children also became heroes when serving the king, but later were blamed for the construction of the temple in Taungbyone near Mandalay. They were then sentenced to death. They became 2 powerful Nats but their bodies were sent back to Taungbyone, where the main festival is held annually in Wagaung (August).
From Taung Kalat you can see panoramic views below Mount Popa. Although the surrounding area is quite arid, there are around 200 streams flowing around Mount Popa. Strong winds blowing across bring about peaceful feeling for travelers admist the fairy area of Myanmar.
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