Mt. Popa (Oasis of the dry zone)
Popa means “ flower ” in Sanskrit so that “flower Mountain” is considered to be sacred as a home of Nats – a sort of Mt.Olympus , an abode of the Gods. The legend tells that the mountain was originally the home of the beautiful ogress name Me Wanna and it was Byat Ta who had to gallop on his horse to Mt. Popa to gather a bouquet for king Anawrahta’s royal household- his every duty on the king’s decree. Soon Me Wanna and Byat Ta met and feel in deep love. They may have play hide- and – seek during their honeymoon days thus it caused the royal flower collector get back late to the palace more than one occasion. As a result of two lovers’ trysts, the flower collector Byat Ta was put to death on the careless order of death penalty from the king. But one stone kill two birds- the flower owner Me Wanna died shortly afterwards of a broken heart and the two of them become Nats(Spirits).
Geologically, Mount Popa measuring (1500m) in altitude to an active volcano some 250,000 years ago, is a forest clad landmark rising to 1,520 meters from the flat, surrounding Myingan Plains. It is a place of special importance in both the country’s history and culture. The natural springs, flowers and wooded hillsides greatly contrast to the arid lands surrounding it.
Not only is the view from there simply breathtaking but also rewarding after a 777 steps climb via a winding walkway. One may learn the interesting tales and get to know the Nats (mythical spiritual beings) at the Nat shrine. There a beautiful international class Popa Mountain Resort. Tastefully designed and lavishly furnished, each of the resort’s buildings are skillfully constructed to blend in harmony with nature. The villas, with teak shingled roofs and teak structures, are all fully equipped with modern facilities. Activities include trekking, bird watching, horse riding, a 9-hole golf course, walks and swimming in own pool. Enjoy a wide range of European, Asian and Chinese cuisine at the view point restaurant overlooking the Taungkalat. Reward yourself with an English style afternoon tea viewing our magnificent landscaped gardens. Popa the right place to sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere
Apart from the great mountain, this small tower- like volcanic plug called as Taung Kalat (727m) bears a complex of monasteries, Pagodas and Nat shrines on its head today.