Fifty kilometers southeast of Bagan in Central Myanmar at the base of Mt Popa is a solitary peak topped by gold stupas. The Popa Taungkalat shrine is the favoured home of 37 Mahagiri Nats or aminist spirit entities, statues of which can be found at its base. These spirits were once so important to the country’s early Kings that it was essential for them to consult the Nats before commencing their reign.
To reach the top, you need to remove shoes and socks and climb the 777 steps to the summit. Along the way are a multitude of monkeys expecting treats. Sometimes they can get a little aggressive so it’s recommended that you keep a tight grip on your possessions!
Popa means “flower” in Sanskrit and you will find bottled flowers that you can purchase as offerings at the temple.
Nearby, on the side of Mount Popa is the Mt Popa resort, a beautiful and luxurious 5 star hotel complex with an excellent restaurant featuring Burmese and European dishes.