Popa Taungkalat Monastery, Mount Popa, Myanmar

mt popa
The most popular day trip from Bagan is the one and a half hour ride to Mount Popa. Not exactly the mountain itself, but the monastery sitting atop of a rocky cliff.

Shared transportation anywhere from Bagan can be easily arranged, regardless if you wish to go to the Mount Popa National Park or to the Popa Taungkalat Monastery.

There are seven of us in the shared van, almost everyone, including me chose the Popa Taungkalat instead of the national park, to see the exotic monastery atop of a cliff on tourist brochures and travel guides is primarily the reason.
mt popa
mt popa

The ride from Bagan to Mount Popa offers a plenty of view of the rural areas outside the archaeological zone, with small towns in between and a portion where nothing to see but dry land. Occasionally, there are Burmese villagers waiting at the roadside, some are families and children asking passing vehicle for anything including bottles of mineral water. It is hard not to imagine how water is quite scarce and important for this dry region of Myanmar.
mt popa
mt popa
mt popa

It takes 777 steps to reach the top of the monastery, and one is required to go barefooted. Either you carry your slippers with you or pay a locker fee to keep your shoes.
mt popa
mt popa
mt popa

The climb upstairs is not too difficult, it is mostly sheltered walkway shared among vendors, monks, devotees, and plenty of monkeys. Each section is assigned and divided to different individual cleaner who swept and kept the floors clean, then ask for donations in return.
mt popa
mt popa
mt popa
mt popa
mt popa

At the topmost of the monastery is a golden Stupa, several Buddha images and a balcony for a view of Mount Popa.
mt popa
mt popa
mt popa
mt popa

5 thoughts on “Popa Taungkalat Monastery, Mount Popa, Myanmar

  1. Myanmar is still a mystical place for even we Indians who shares a long border with them….

    The place looks just incredible and the views from top is truly rewarding the effort put in ascending through those 777 steps, right?

    Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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