In many places in Tibet, Mongolia and Qinghai (a province in Northern China), the ground is too hard and rocky to dig a grave and, because of a lack of fuel sources, trees and lumber, the practice of a sky burial was often the most practical way of dealing with a corpse rather than a traditional Buddhist cremation ceremony. The body is placed on elevated ground and monks usually recite mantras by the deceased and burn juniper incense to attract birds of prey and wild animals.
This is not as unusual as it might sound as traditional Buddhist teachings consider the body to be merely a husk for one’s eternal spirit. Similarly, leaving a corpse to the vagaries of nature is considered an act of generosity. The Tibetan word for Sky Burial is translated as “bird-scattered” and while once reserved for lamas and local chieftains, the practice is now fairly commonplace for locals of all segments of society.
With thanks to Emma Lord of Bustle
Here is an excellent video that goes shows the Tibetan Sky Burial process: