Mount Popa and Taung Kalat Monastery
Mount Popa and the monastery of Taung Kalat are most-visited sites in Mayanmar. This is where the charming and spectacular nature meets the religious belief.
In Myanmar, there is one place where you can combine between the spiritual journey and the nature exploration. Seeing Mount Popa, you also have a chance to visit a long-standing Buddhism monastery – the Taung Kalat.
Place to visit
Popa Mount itself is an imposing landscape with a height of 1518 kilometers above the sea level. It is about 50 kilometers from Bagan. On the top of the near-by volcanic plug lies a prominent monastery Taung Kalat which means “Pedestal Hill” in Burmese. Taung Kalat is where a large number of Buddhism followers in Myanmar make a pilgrimage trip every year. It is considered as one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. To get to this monastery, you have to accomplish a 777-step stairway hiking. From Taung Kalat, you can get a spectacular view over the large area of greenery forest. This pace is believed to be where the Nats stay. They are gods who protect the land. Nat spirits are symbols which results from the combination the Buddhism and the traditional local culture. Each of the Nats has their own story of how they become a Nat. The statues of Nats are placed at the bottom of the stairway leading to the monastery. In some particular time of the year, you might have a chance to enjoy some jubilant festivals, for example, Thingyan – Burmese New Year Eve, festival season on the full moon of Nayon and the full moon of Nadaw. The area of Mount Popa is also a natural park. You can expect to have a great adventure into the nature.
You might have to expect the presence of monkeys along the way. You should hold your possession tight in case of unexpected attack from naughty and curious monkeys. These macaques could be much of an unease trouble and hassle. One tip for visitors is that they should not wear red, black and green because these colors are considered offensive to Nats. Visitors should also remember not to bring meat especially pork when visiting this place.