About 67 km southeast of Bagan is Mount Popa, an extinct volcano over 1,500 meters high, rising out of the plains. It is famed as the abode of the Mahagiri Nats or Spirit gods to whom the Kings of Bagan paid annual homage and their shrines can be seen at a nearby rocky crag.
Popa’s attraction today lies not so in its geological aspect but in its religious and spiritual interests which are still prevalent. Popa is popularly recognized as an abode of many "Nats" (spirits of ancient ancestors) who dwell in various parts of the mountain. In the olden days, it also used to be referred to as the "Mountain of Spirits".
The evidence of these beliefs and tradition is still pratise in the form of "nat shrines", rituals, ceremonial offerings, annual representative festivals and the never- ending stream of pilgrims and believers in Myanmar. Popa today is one of the most popular pilgrimage spots in the country. One would need to spend a sizeable amount of time in order to unearth the spiritual dradition of this sacred mountain.
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