Dege Sutra Printing House

The Treasury of Tibetan Culture & Arts

Dege Sutra-Printing House (Tib. Dege Parkhang), also called Dege Auspicious and Wisdom-Gathering House, whose full Multi-Auspicious Gate of the Great Dharma Stack-Room of Dege Sutra-Printing House of Tibetan Cultural Treasures, is located in Gengqing Temple in Dege County on the east bank of the Jinshajiang River northwest of the Ganze Tibetan Nationality Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province, built in the 7th year of Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty by Chokyi Tenpa Tsering (1687-1738), the 12th headman and 6th dharma-raja of Dege. In the house are kept more than 200000 blocks of religious, historical, literature and art, medical, astronomical and calender-arithmetical book edititons in Tibetan, of which the Dege block edition of The Great Scriptures cut in the Qing Dynasty is expectably well-known. The Printing house is the largest of the three big Sutra-printing houses in the Tibetan regiongs of China (Lhasa Sutra-printing House in Tibet, Lhapuleng House in Gansu and Dege Parkhang in Sichuan). It was designated as a major unit of cultural relics under provincial protection in 1980 and as a major unit under state protection in 1996.

Dege, meaning "land of benevolence" in Tibetan, is derived from the "ten benevolences of the 4 orders" of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dege clan and the toponym of Dege both began to appear in the early period of the Yuan Dynasty and the year of 1913 saw the establishment of Dege County. It is the seat of Dege County, and was once the center of the kingdom of Dege, one of the largest and most important of the regional kingdoms in Kham.