Mount Popa, 1500m high is an extinct volcano located about 67 km south east of Bagan. Among the western foothills, the mountain stands a perpendicular rock formation with almost vertical sides. The whole top is dotted with pagodas and shrines which are made accessible by a series of stairways. It is generally known as the abode of legendary “Nats” ( spirit Gods) for which the annual festival is held during the Myanmar month of Nayon (May/June).
Mt. Popa is about 67km away from Bagan. It takes about 45 minutes drive from Nyaung Oo Airport, Bagan. Mt. Popa is an extinct volcano that is estimated to have erupted for the final time, over three hundred and twenty thousand years ago. However, popa’s attraction today lies not so much in its geological aspect, but more in its religious and mystical interests which are still prevalent. Popa is popularly recognized as an abode of many “Nats”. However, Popa’s attraction today lies not so much in its geological aspect, but more in its religious and mystical interests which are still prevalent. Popa is popularly recognized as an abode of many “Nats” (spirits of ancient ancestors) who dwell in various parts of the mountain. Popa today is one of the most popular pilgrimage spots in the country. One would need to spend a sizeable amount of time in order to unearth the spiritual and legendary wealth of this sacred mountain.