Discovering Legends of Mount PoPa, Myanmar

Your worries and anxieties seem to be washed away by the clouds as you stand on the top of PoPa to see the scenery around here. The longer you admire the view, the more clearly you will feel more about the fanciful scene that few places have in Myanmar.

About an hour of driving from the heart of Bagan, running through bumpy trails, two sides are immense green rice fields. Looking towards the horizon, a mountain will appear in the shape like Mount Fuji of Japan. That is Mount PoPa.

Mount PoPa lies at the altitude of 1581m above sea level and located in the center of Myanmar, about 50km southwest of Bagan. On the beautiful clear days, visitors coming here stand from the Irrawaddy River can also see the mountain.

PoPa Mountain is a pride and a center of belief in Myanmar. The temple on the mountain is home to many large Buddha statues, which also attracts tourists and devotees from all over Myanmar and around the world. To reach the top of the mountain visitors will have to overcome 777 steps to reach the top of Mount PoPa. Visiting Mount PoPa, tourists do not only enjoy the fresh air, watching the vast river, watching the sky and land, but also have the opportunity to hear the legends, folk tales, guardians of the destitute people in Myanmar.

Nat Mihagari

On the way to the summit, visitors can stop several times to visit different temples to worship. At the altar of 37 Natas, visitors will hear the temple keepers tell stories about the Natanhem of house Mahagiri of the Tagaung from the upstream of the Irrawaddy, who were helped by the king of Bagan, Thinligyaung. Their wish was that after passing away, they would be burry be on top of PoPa. And finally, their wish was fulfilled and they became guardians of the destitute.

Me Wunna and her two sons

Besides the above story, there is another legend of PoPa Meday, whose another name, according to legend, was Me Wunna. She lived on top of PoPa and the foods she consumed were mostly flowers. She fell in love with Byatta, a royal soldier gathering flowers from PoPa to King Anawrahta of Bagan. She asked him to marry her. Byatta did not obey the king, who opposed the marriage, and their children were taken to the palace. Because of immense misery, Me Wunna died with Byatta and became a Nat. Two of her children became heroes during the king's service, but were later blamed for building the temple in Taungbyone near Mandalay and executed by the king. Although they have become two gods, their bodies were sent back to Taungbyone where the main festival takes place every year in August.

From the peak of Taung Kalat you can see the whole landscape below, although the surrounding area is the arid rocky mountain but PoPa has 200 streams flowing around it. The wind blowing across will make visitors feel a sense of peace amidst the mysterious region of Myanmar

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