The sky burial ceremony in Sertar

I’ve heard so many times about this weird Tibetan funeral but this was the first time I watched it by my own eyes, at the very close distance.

Sertar is one of few areas that allows people to watch the whole ceremony. When we reached the site, the corpses had been sent to the platform, chopped into pieces and waiting to be devoured by the vultures. There were so many vultures flying in the sky or standing on the mountains nearby.


Lama’s mantra was surrounding. We walked up to the watching area, tried to see through crowded audiences. My friends helped me to push a way through the crowd so that I could observe the ceremony more clearly. I saw some pieces of legs, naked and pale. The smell of dead bodies spread out, the vultures started to burst into chopping area to vie for corpses. Some people had to leave because they could not stand that smell. A native friend told me to leave soon to avoid being hit by some “body parts” falling down from the sky.

Hair of the deaths were cut down and kept nearby, long hairs were hang up like wind bells while short ones were left on the ground by one from the bereaved families. That hairy tower looks really scary.


Believe or not, it worths every second here on the highland of Tibet. I will definitely come back Sertar one day, to do what I had not done there.

(copy & edited from my facebook post which is originally in English)


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