A small town just 20 kilometers from the Tibetan border, Dege is a city in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province in southwest China. Nestled in a valley in the middle of the Chola Range (The summit is 6168m), Dege is mainly known for its sutras printing press. Tibetans used to say, “Lhasa is the heart of Tibetan religion, while Dege is the heart of Tibetan culture”.

In 2014 a highway from Chengdu to Dege was complete, which means you can go to Dege from Chengdu by 4-wheel drive vehicle in one day (840 kilometers), but you are recommended to stay at least one night at Kangding or Xinduqiao to acclimatize the altitude, for Dege is 3100 meters above sea level while Chengdu is at 500 meters. In 2016, Kangding city, the capital of the Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous, built an airport about 135 kilometers away from Derge. From this airport, you will have 3 hours road to Dege.

Dege Parkhang Printing House

Built in 1729 and covering an area of about 3,000 square meters, this sutra-printing house preserves over 320,000 sutra inscriptions. The Printing house has stored the printing plates of Bkavvgyur (general name of the translation of Sakyamuni’s works in the Tibetan language) and Bstanvgyur (the explanation of “the Sweet Peal” in the Tibetan language by his disciples), historical biography, poems, and music, drawing edition and mural Painting. Therefore, Dege Parkhang is ranked “No. 1 among the three major printing houses in Tibetan regions” (the two others are Potala Palace and Labrang Monastery).

Recognized as the encyclopedia of Tibetan culture, the Dege Parkhang printing house was listed in Key Cultural Relic under State-level Protection in 1996.

Palpung Monastery

A monastery in Babang Township of Dêgê County, Palpung means “glorious union of study and practice”.

Palpung Monastery was founded by the 8th Tai Situpa in 1727 and developed into one of the most prestigious centers in Tibetan history. It is also the mother monastery of the Karma Kagyu in Kham and evolved into the center of the Rimé movement. The congregation has monasteries and centers around the world. The monastery once hosted more than 1000 monks and had one of the leading monastic universities in the area. Palpung was known for its huge library with more than 324,000 texts and an art collection of more than 10,150 thangkas. At the foot of the monastery, you can visit a family who makes this kind of art.

Dzongsar Monastery

Located in the southeast of the town of Derge, it was founded in 746 by the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism.

The monastery had twenty-three temples and many important sacred rooms. Dzongsar had a unique collection of Rimé scriptures and teachings, which promotes non-sectarianism and universalism in Tibetan Buddhism. Although Dzongsar was a Sakya monastery, it’s possible to study eight sects of Buddhism. The monastery is also known for its incense and sells it commercially as Dzongsar Tibetan Incense Powder and Dzongsar Tibetan Incense Sticks. The incense is made from precious, natural herbal materials from the highlands of Eastern Tibet and is said to have healing effects on the mind and soul and can prevent infectious diseases.

Yihun Lhatso

It is a glacial lake in a valley on the north side of the Chola Mountains. It is found 10km south of the town of Manigango in Dege County, Garze Prefecture.

As part of the historic Kham region in Tibet, Yihun Lhatso has long been known to the Tibetan people. It is considered a sacred lake in Tibetan Buddhism and a kora route circles the lake. The hundreds of mani stones have been placed around the lake and its streams. Today the Yilun Lhatso is a starting point for the people who want to hike in the Chola Mountains.

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