Popa Mountain National Park

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Popa Mountain National Park is a beautiful national treasure located in Mandalay Region. It was established in 1989 and covers an area of 129 square kilometres. The national park surrounds Mount Popa, an extinct volcano. The famous Popa Taung Kalat Monastery is located on a volcanic plug southwest of the mountain. To reach the pagoda, you will have to climb 777 steps. The pagoda and view of the surroundings make the climb worthwhile.

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Overlooking the Bagan plains, Popa Mountain National Park is the hidden gem of Myanmar. It is enriched with a large variety of wildlife including dusky leaf monkeys, wild pigs, barking deer and a range of birds. The locals believe Popa to be a principal residing place of nats. Hence, you will find shrines and ceremonial offerings in different parts of the forest.

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Things To Do

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TREK TO THE TOP

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It takes 30 to 45 minutes to get to the top of Taung Kalat. You will see numerous golden stupas on the way. The view from up above is magnificent, to say the least. You can see the top of the temples of Bagan if the weather is clear.

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VISIT POPA TAUNG KALAT MONASTERY

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The monastery sits on a stunning rocky crag with an amazing view of the surroundings. It is a mix of shrines and stupas, each of which is a revered site for the locals. Popa Taung Kalat Monastery was built in the 11th century and is dedicated to 37 animist spirits.

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BIRD WATCHING

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The jungle is a paradise for bird-watchers. If you are a bird lover, don’t forget to carry your binoculars. Some of the species found here are the red junglefowl, emerald dove, yellow-footed green pigeon, green-billed malkoha and blue-throated barbet.

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EXPERIENCE ANIMISM

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Before the advent of Buddhism, most of the locals practised Animism. Popa Mountain National Park will give you a detailed understanding of this ancient religion. You will find ceremonial offerings and places dedicated to spirits at various spots, which will surely send chills down your spine.

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