Eight hours from Ganzi via the crossroads townof Manigange (马尼干戈, mănígàngē) and scary, 5500m-high Chola Shan mountain pass, DÊGÊ (德格, dégé) initially appears to be no more than a small cluster of ageing concrete buildings squeezed into a narrow gorge. Dêgê was, however, once the most powerful Kham state, and the only one to resist the seventeenth-century Mongol invasion – hence the absence of Gelugpa-sect monasteries in the region.