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Situated about 50 kilometers from Bagan, the Popa region is located in Kyaukpadaung Township, Mandalay Division, in the central part of the country. Mount Popa is a distinctive mountain in this region. Mt. Popa is an extinct volcano that is estimated to have erupted for the final time, over three hundred and twenty thousand years ago. The mountain is 4,900 feet (1,465 meters) above sea-level. Southwest of Mount Popa is Taung Kalat (pedestal hill), sheer-sided volcanic plug, which rises 737 metres (2,417 ft) above the sea level. A Buddhist monastery is located at the summit of Taung Kalat. At one time, the Buddhist hermit U Khandi maintained the stairway of 777 steps to the summit of Taung Kalat. The Taung Kalat pedestal hill is sometimes itself called Mount Popa and given that Mount Popa is the name of the actual volcano that caused the creation of the volcanic plug, to avoid confusion, the volcano (with its crater blown open on one side) is generally called Taung Ma-gyi (mother hill). The volcanic crater itself is a mile in diameter. However, popa’s attraction today lies not so much in its geological aspect, but more in its religious and mystical interests which are still prevalent. Popa is popularly recognized as an abode of many “Nats” and is one of the most popular pilgrimage spots in the country.