Mount Popa, the pagoda on the volcano • Myanmar (EN)

Unlock the Secrets of Mount Popa in Under 6 Minutes! Journey through Myanmar's spiritual heartland to explore a golden pagoda perched atop an extinct volcano. As you ascend the 777-step staircase leading to Popa Taungkalat monastery, encounter the resident monkeys who are as much a part of this sacred site as the temple itself. These mischievous macaques provide a playful yet cautionary tale for travelers ascending this unique spiritual citadel. Don't miss the opportunity to explore this fascinating blend of nature and spirituality, where centuries-old traditions continue to thrive. Your guide to an extraordinary world awaits!

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Myanmar • Burma (EN)

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Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.

In the center of Burma (or Myanmar to use the current name) rises a volcano which has not erupted for ten thousand years. This volcano is about 1500 meters high. On one of its old chimneys, named Taung Kalat, which culminates at 737 meters and which also bears the name of Mount Popa. 

Mount Popa 

At the top of the Taung Kalat chimney the devotees have erected a Buddhist temple. This Buddhist temple is actually a monastery. This monastery is known as Popa Taungkalat, and does not seem to have a name distinct from its geographical position. 

The Buddhist religion is extremely widespread in Myanmar. A local color of Buddhism is characterized by the existence of Nats. The Nats are spirits in Burma. Of these spirits, there are 37 who are considered Grand Nats, and all of them reside atop this extinct volcano. 

It is to venerate these spirits that great pilgrimages take place at Mount Popa. 

Legend has it that during the reign of King Anawrahta in the 11th century, the Nats converted to Buddhism. This put an end to the sacrifices of thousands of animals during the ceremonies in their honor, Buddha being for the respect of life. 

Since then, regional superstitions forbid climbing Mount Popa with black or red clothes, and especially to bring meat there. 

Mount Popa Monastery 

To reach the top of Mount Popa and arrive at the monastery, you have to climb a long staircase of 777 steps. 

Many monkeys inhabit the sides of the volcano, and among them the macaques are the least shy. So little shy that they don't hesitate to rob unwary tourists. Beware of bags... especially if they contain treats!


Spoken comments in the film: 

Mount Popa near Mandalay in Myanmar is 700 steps to go from a small village with its shops, its inhabitants and its little monkeys to a golden pagoda at the top of an extinct volcano. 

In the center of Myanmar, about five hundred kilometers from Mandalay, rises the crater of an extinct volcano, Mount Popa. It is an important pilgrimage center in the country and a magnificent little pagoda sits on top of it. Summit which is deserved because it is necessary to climb approximately 700 steps while trying to escape the small grumbling and friendly aggressive monkeys.



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Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of burmese traditional music in "Mount Popa, the pagoda on the volcano • Myanmar (EN)", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

pagoda on top of Mount Popa, Mount Popa • Myanmar
monkey at the foot of Mount Popa, Mount Popa • Myanmar

monkey at the foot of Mount Popa

To the top of Mount Popa, Mount Popa • Myanmar

To the top of Mount Popa

At the top of Mount Popa, Mount Popa • Myanmar

At the top of Mount Popa

the entrance to the sanctuary, at the foot of Mount Popa, Mount Popa • Myanmar

the entrance to the sanctuary, at the foot of Mount Popa

Mount Popa, Myanmar

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