How to Burn Incense?

how to burn incense

Handicrafts are something that you make using your hands. It is simply an activity in which you make decorative objects or things using your hand. For example, pottery, handmade jewelry, wooden pieces, etc.

Incense Stick is a part of a religious ceremony. The local name in Nepal is ‘Dhup Batti’. People use incense during prayer and meditation. It makes the air clear and makes the environment sacred.

Incense helps in relaxation and meditation which has a whiff that can help you to calm and tranquilize your soul.

Tibetan Incense

Tibetan incense is a handmade roll without bamboo sticks in the middle. It consists of natural herbal ingredients. People are using this incense for hundreds of years around Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan.

In Himalayan regions of these areas, incense is a part of daily life. Tibetan incense has no harmful chemicals or glues. More than hundreds of varieties are available in the market.

If you compare incense from Tibet to any other country, you find it is quite unique in nature. It is handmade using flowers, pure herbs, and spices.

The History of Tibetan Incense

It is common-believe that the incense in Tibet came over 1300 years ago from India. Saying this, there are few Tibetan texts that state the ingredients and composition of incense back over 2000 years ago.

Monks control the methods and formulas that make the sticks. Buddhist tradition believes that Buddha himself made the stick for the first time. Then he passed the formula to his followers. It is also ‘masters of incense’, the vigorous tool for allay and meditation. There are various Bon texts stating the importance of burning incense in the cleansing of the air.

Contemporary Tibetan incense

If you go to history and tradition, only monks made incense. Monks used to make incense within the Monasteries periphery earlier but nowadays there are various cottage industries making incense.

The largest cottage industry is in Tunba village. Hometown of Tunmi Sangbuzha, Tunba village is also the first village of Tibetan incense. During the Tang regime in China, Tunmi Sangbuzha went to India and brought Sanskrit to China.

Sanskrit was the foundation of the traditional Tibetan language. Tunba village is the home of modern incense in Tibet region. This village draws on the modern process of making incense. One of the main attributes of Tunba incense is Cypress wood. Tunba incense requires more than 30 different spices and herbs.

How is Tibetan incense made?

The main source of Tibetan incense is wood. After making small pieces of the wood, it’s fine powder is later mixed with other ingredients. Other ingredients include spices, herbs, flowers along with 28 different ingredients.

They use sandalwood, pine or cedar, hibiscus along with agarwood, amber snow lotus herbs and many more. Sometimes Charcoal powder is also used along with makko powder. They use the bark of the tabu-no-ki tree to make Makko powder. With the help of little water, they mix it together and leave it to dry.

It comes in various shapes. The incense consist of some Tibetan alphabet, shapes of mazes that burn on a pattern. They believe burning this incense brings them good fortune.

Famous Tibetan Incense

Mindroling Monastery provides the most famous Tibetan incense. It belongs to one of the major six monasteries. According to Tibetan history, Mondroling incense was the creation of the founder of the monastery that is Rigzin Terdak Lingpa.

Only one or two Lamas know the ingredients of this incense. Tunba village is another popular village for incense. They have the experience of making incense for over 1300 years. You can find incense made in Tunba village all over the world.

Incense factories all over Tibet make the different varieties of incense using traditional recipes to an innovative one. They use variation in ingredients which includes Tibetan culture. There are major four characteristics of incense according to Tibetan culture and medicine; clean, fine, natural and pure.

Tibetan Incense Benefits

There are numerous benefits associated with Tibetan incense. Some of them are:


Burning incense is the vestibule to spirituality inside you. It hits you inside whether you are a religious or secular person. Association with a particular religion is not necessary because it has been practiced for several thousand years. Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity, these religions have been using incense for different purposes.

Reduce Anxiety and Stress

The fragrance of incense helps you to relax and focus. It reduces your stress and anxiety. The smell works as the set up for relaxing breathing and heart rate.

The varieties in the flavor like Lavender, Rosemary and Sandalwoods are the best for you. It helps your mind not to worry and focus on something.

Purify Air

Tibetan incense has some of the antibacterial properties that make the air free of germs and bacteria. Nag Champas is the best incense for carrying out this purpose.

It helps to enclose the day to day household smells like cooking, damp clothes, pets, etc. Scents of Myrrh, Citrus, Cedar helps to void the air keeping it fresh and aroma.

Arouse creativity

Isn’t it great that with the proper fragrance you can enhance your creativity and idea? It is one of the major benefits of Tibetan incense. By stimulating your ideas, abilities, and positivity it increases your mental processing. You can use the aroma of Ylang-Ylang, Geranium, Lemongrass and a few more.

Aid Sleep

Many of us are unable to sleep at night, the reason may be different but the problem in common in this generation. In this race of everything, we are neglecting our sleep which is not good in any sense.

Lavender is the best fragrance for this problem. Also, Vetiver and Chamomile are highly beneficial for proper sleep. Burning incense is safer than a candle while falling asleep.

Top Frequently Asked Questions on Tibetan Incense

How many incense sticks to burn?

The occasion for burning incense determines the number of incenses. According to the Buddhist tradition and rituals, you always have to burn odd numbers of incense. That is either one, three, five or seven. Every single number has its own symbol and significance.

How many incense sticks to burn for the dead?

You should burn 3 (three) sticks for the dead or at the funeral. Three sticks symbolize the mobility towards equilibrium, stability, and infinity.

How many incense sticks to burn for good luck?

You will also burn 3 (three) for good luck too. It means you will move towards stability, equilibrium, and infinity.

How many incense sticks to burn for god?

Usually Buddhist offer 1 (one) incense stick to Lord Buddha. It signifies that one stick releases the ‘incense of heart’. Though it is one stick, there are five meanings; preventing the violation of the taboos, upholding constancy and protecting against temptation, lucidity and intelligence, emancipation and endurance.

How many incenses sticks to burn for ancestors?

It is the same as for the god. You will burn 1 (one) incense stick for ancestors which represents preventing the violation of the taboos, upholding constancy and protecting against temptation, lucidity and intelligence, emancipation and endurance.

How many incense sticks to burn for a day?

It is a tradition to burn only odd numbers of incense. The numbers depend on the reason to burn the incense. Burning 1 (one) incense represents unity and fusion of male and female principles. It also represents the whole. Burning 1 (one) incense means you are releasing the ‘incense of heart’.

You will burn 1 (one) incense for god and ancestors. Burning 3 (three) incense means that you are facing difficulties in your life and you want to get rid of it. You will burn 3 (three) incense for the dead members and good luck. In Vietnam during the new year celebration, it is compulsory to burn 3 (three) incense.

If you need to pray to the Mother Goddess of the forest then you should burn 5 (five) incense. People burn 7 (seven) incense sticks on the special occasion of ‘Pardon for all Wandering Souls). Remembering those departed souls you plant incense near Banyan trees.

How to burn Tibetan incense?

Tibetan incense comes in different sizes and flavors. Some of them are a full-length stick and others are half the size of full length. Remove it from the plastic wrap up and burn it. After you light the incense keep it in its pot or something that comes with it. Or, if you are lighting it in temples/monasteries put it along with previously burning incense.

Basically, there are two types of incense, Direct burning, and Indirect burning. Direct burning incense is lit directly by the flame but indirect burning incense requires a separate heat source. You need to heat it before burning with flames. Most of the incense is of direct burning nature which is easier to light.

Buy Tibetan Incense in Wholesale

There are various Tibetan incense wholesale shops available in the Kathmandu valley. It starts at $1 and goes higher than $15. Thamel, Boudha, and Swoyambhu has abundant numbers of Tibetan incense wholesale. They provide you the authentic Tibetan incense but never buy from the street sellers because they sell duplicate products.

There are few online sites that provide you with Tibetan incense. They also provide you the best quality Tibetan incense. It is difficult to distinguish the poor quality incense with the best quality Tibetan incense.

Let us know if you would like to Shop the Best Quality Tibetan Incense. Contact us!

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