In addition to daily Buddhist rituals, incense is also used in the ritual dance of the lamas, particularly in Tibet, Mongolia and Nepal. Incense-sticks are also burnt before an icon and in a shrine and temples etc. The purpose of the incense burning is generally purification or to welcome someone.
The middle portion of the exquisitely carved object is sloped and in the middle, a canal like structure has been made to keep the incense sticks. Two vajras inlaid with coral and turquoise stones in the middle have been embossed on both the end of structure. An image of the Buddha, seated in bhumisparsha-mudra has also been embossed on one end of the top of the vessel. The round cover of the vessel is plain, an image of a Lama is embossed just above the lid and two turquoise stones are inlaid on both the upper corners. The side far from the lid is embossed with a figure of the Buddha in bhumisparsha-mudra. A vajra inlaid with a coral in the middle, is also embossed below the Buddha. Two turquoise stones are inlaid on both the top corners.
This description by Dr. Shailendra Kumar Verma, Ph.D. His doctorate thesis being on the "Emergence and Evolution of the Buddha Image (from its inception to 8th century A.D).