Bagan’s Mount Popa and its Deities
Bagan’s Mount Popa
and its Deities
Where nature meets animistic beliefs with a fair dose of adventurous climbing: the award
of reaching the peak of former volcano Mount Popa is breathtaking so say the least.
En route, the spiritual guardians will assure you a safe passage up and down.
WHY THIS TOUR?
A heightened experience of a slightly different kind stands out of the crowd when descending at Bagan. Loaded with strong beliefs, Mount Popa marks yet another reason by Bagan is diverse and offers more than its vast plains with hundreds of temples, pagodas, and stupas. Atop this extinct volcano lies a locally worshipped temple complex where views of impeccable beauty over the landscape await.
Time to put on your hiking shoes, open your mind to the power of the local deities calling this natural elevation in the Mandalay province their home before making your way back down the hundreds of steps with new experiences under your belt.
08:00 - 12:00
In the morning, pick up from your hotel in Bagan by your guide and driver and head out in direction of Mount Popa (approximately 50 kilometres outside of Bagan which will take approximately 1.5 hours by vehicle). The extinct volcano can already be seen from a distance with its pagodas and stupas towering majestically on top within Popa Mountain Park. The origins of extinct volcano date back to 442 BC, when a great earthquake roared through central Myanmar – and from out of the barren Myingyan plains ‘grew’ Mount Popa
Mount Popa is dedicated to animist spirits known as ‘nats’ and you will have time to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the peak. At the foot of the mountain, you could observe Nat Shrine contains a display of mannequin-like figures representing the 37 nats and is a major pilgrimage destination. There will be the opportunity to explore the fascinating monasteries, stupas and shrine that abound plus, of course, enjoy the dramatic and mammoth-size view back across the Myingyan Plain. For those that do not want to make the climb to the top, there is the option to visit the nearby sandalwood forest and medical herb garden with plenty of flora and fauna available to admire. The significance of Mount Popa is of that great importance that one will cherish the life stories and explanation of this holy place by our guide for many years to come.
On the way back to Bagan, a stop will be made at a local palm tree plantation. The main source of income for villagers comes from keeping toddy palm plantations. Around Bagan, several of these plantations dot the semi-arid landscape and an educational stop offers a chance to see the labour-intensive climbing work that goes into this livelihood. This relaxing break will give you the chance to observe local working life with palm trees.
We will return to your hotel in Bagan just before lunchtime.