Located on the Katakoro Plateau far outside the borders of Khazari, Zanda Tholing was an important pilgrimage site for the royal family, and was treated as a site of supreme holiness, dedicated to the Enlightened One.
At the center of the site was the exposure ground, where the body was left on a pallet to decay. When a king or prince died, their body was brought here to be exposed to the elements until the flesh was gone. The bones were then returned to Khazari for burial, a tradition that had gone on for centuries. No one except priests of the Zanda were allowed in this area.
The land around the holy ground was littered with markers commemorating deceased rulers. Centuries of this tradition caused the area to become a "forest of steel", due to the number of markers jutting out from the landscape.
It was said that the greatest of leaders had their bodies consumed in a flash of blue fire, leaving only their untouched bones behind. This was treated as a sign of that person's greatness.
No more than ten priests of the Zanda lived in a small monastery at the edge of the site. They were responsible for placing the bodies of the deceased on the sacred ground, after which they chanted prayers for a day and a night. They collected the bones when they were ready, and conducted various purification rites, both before the body was laid and after the remains were fetched.