Dege Sutra-Printing house or Dege Parkhang is a magnificent three-storeyed building with original frescoes. Built in 1729 by Chokyi Tenpa Tsering, the 12th headman of Dege, it is the oldest sutra printing press in the whole Tibetan areas that well preserves the tradition of using carved printing blocks and Tibetan papers.
There is an inner courtyard, giving access to the temple on the ground level, the printing works on the second level, and the rooftop chapels on the third level. The entire printing process can be observed here: from the preparation of paper and ink to the carving of woodblocks, and actual printing and collating of various texts.
There is precious collection of xylograph blocks, including the Derge editions of Kangyur, Tangyur, Nyingma Gyudbum and other works, which are constantly in demand throughout the towns, villages and monasteries of Tibet. The numerous collections contribute to making Dege one of three culture centers in Tibetan regions.
In the first 10 years when Dege Sutra-Printing House was originally built, the printing blocks amounted to 100,000, of which the majority were for Kangyur, Selected works of the Five Sakya Ancestors. From 1980’s to early 1999, 43,559 printing-blocks were recut or newly cut in Dege Sutra-Printing House, making its printing blocks a total of 270,000, which is unmatchable in the world.