Dege/Derge སྡེ་དག

November 11th, 2012  |  Published in Kham Tibet

 

Above pic is taken on the way from Chola Mountain to Dege.

Dege is often regarded the heart of Kham Tibet. It lies on the bank of Sugchu River, a tributary of Yantze River. The town of Dege  located next to Dege Gomchen and Parkhang(Dege Printer house) in the Sugchu valley. It takes about 10 minutes walk from town to the Dege Gomchen Monastery.  There are more than 50 monasteries in Dege County. Among which most are Sakyapa Monasteries but Nyinmapa, Gelupa and Kagyupa as well as Bon monasteries are also established in the county. The Dege area had been an independent kingdom until 19 century. Among all the Dege Kings Tenpa Tsering(1678-1738) is famous for his contribution to Buddhism and culture preservation.

Above pictures is taken from the roof of printing house, This is Dege Gomchen.

Dege Gomchen, it was founded in 1448, the monastery originally built as a Sakyapa Monastery, therefore, it has kept strong ties with Sakyapa and the center of Ngor Gompa. However, the monastery introduced different traditions. It was destroyed during the cultural revolution but it has been reconstructed and now houses more than 300 monks. Dege Gomchen is not only name of the monastery but it is also the seat of Dege Kings.

Above picture is taken inside the Dege Parkhang, the printing house. This is wooden block store section.

Dege Parkhang/ Dege Printing House,  In the 18th century, the king Tenpa Tsering brought Dege to the peak of it’s power by conquering the outlying northern districts of Dzachuka. Under his instructions and assistant from local tribes, Dege Parkhang is founded in 1729, and the construction completed in 1750 during the reigns of his successors. The famous Sakya Pa scholar Zhuchen Tsultrim Rinchen edited Gargyur and Tangyur. The Tibetan book of Gargyur and Tangyur are knowns as the most accurate and completed  Tibetan Buddhism scripture. There are total of 217000 wooden printing blocks housed in the this printing house and the works of this print house has been used all cross Tibet Plateau. Today, Dege Parkhang printing house is still functioning as it was a century years ago, all the works are done by manual. It became the biggest printing house in Tibet.  The printing house produces traditional mathematic, science, Tibetan medicine books and scriptures and books from  Nyingmapa, Gelukpa, Kagyupa and Sakyapa  as well as Bon religion.

Above picture is taken inside the printing house, this is how they print the scriptures.

 

Some other famous monasteries and sights worth to visit are following:

Tengchen Monastery, a Bon tradition built between 8th and 9th century.

Palpung Gompa(Babangsi) was established in 1727 by the Karma Kagyupa’s highest Lama Taisitu Rinpoche.

Dzongsar Tashi Lhatse Monastery, was founded in 1253 by Drilgung Chogye Pakpa. Dzongsar Monastery’s construction was instructed by Jamyang Kyentse Wangpo(1820-1892) and Dzongsar Khyentse Chogyi Gyatso (1896-1959). These two were among the most prolific teachers and lineage holders of the combined Sakya, Nyingma and Kagyu traditions in East Tibet.

Above picture is taken in Dege Gomchen

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