Climb Mount Popa

Popa is about 50 kilometers from Bagan. Popa region is situated in Kyaukpadaung Township, Mandalay Division, in the central part of the country. Mount Popa is also known as an extinct volcano and the adobe of the 37 spirits. The Mount Popa is a distinctive mountain in this region. It is an old volcano forming the northern offshoot of the Bago Yoma mountain range, occupying the lower central region. The mountain is 4900 feet high above the sea-level. From the Ayeyarwaddy River, it is about 65 kilometers away.

Along the southwest spur of the mountain a turret of rocky prominence about one acre wide at the summit rises to a height od 3000 feet above the sea-level. It is known as the Taunkalat or the "stemmed salver hill". This is where the home of the spirits is. There is a legend about this mountain and the spirits which goes back to the time of the King Anawrahta reign.

King Anawrahta was the founder of the Bagan Dynasty. During his reign, there was a fast-runner known as "Byatta" who came all the way from Bagan to fetch fresh flowers from Mount Popa and offer to the king. One day he met an ogress known as "Mel Wunna", who ate only flowers, and they had two sons.

The sons were known as Shwe Phyin Gyi and Shwe Phyin Lay or the Shwe Phyin Brothers. And later on, this place became to be the adobe of the spirits.

Although, Mount Popa is located in the dry zone, due to its height it is capable of collecting condensate and the mountain supports a profusion of trees and vegetation. But it was like an oasis in the middle of the dry plain. There used to be about 200 springs in the area and it is now preserved with the Greening Project according to the schedules.
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