NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 Silk Road

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Nick Middleton is an award-winning geographer, writer, TV presenter, environmental scientist and university lecturer. He was born in 1959 in London, England. His curiosity about how planet Earth works and how people interact with it was fuelled from an early age. Now he works and communicates on a wide variety of environmental issues and travel topics for a broad range of audiences, from government policy-makers to primary-school children. He also teaches at the University of Oxford where he is a Fellow of St Anne’s College.

Nick is the author of seven travel books, including the bestseller, Going to Extremes, which accompanied a television series he wrote and presented for Channel 4 and the National Geographic Channel on extreme environments and the people who live in them. His TV documentaries have been broadcast all over the world and his books translated into more than a dozen languages.

Introduction

This article gives an account of a journey from gently rolling hills of Ravu to Mount Kailash.
The narrator wanted to complete the kora at Mount Kailash. Lhamo gave him a long sleeved sheep skin coat to keep him warmer. He hired Tsetan’s car and took Daniel as companion for escorting him upto Darchen. He seems a lover of adventure who is not at all afraid of taking risks.

Summary

The narrator and Tsetan took a short cut to get off the Changtang. This route would take them south-west, almost directly towards Mount Kailash. It involved crossing fairly high mountain passes. Tsetan said that there would be no problem if there was no snow. This short cut took them across vast plains having arid pastures. They saw a few gazelles and a great herd of wild asses. As hills came once again, they passed shepherds tending their flocks.

The narrator and Tsetan passed the dark tents of the nomads in lonely places. A huge black dog, a Tibetan mastiff would stand to guard outside. These dogs raised their big heads erect and watched the narrator’s car. As the car came closer they would start barking and ran towards their car. The dogs would stop barking only after chasing them off the property.

Then they entered a valley. The snowcapped mountains were visible on the horizon. The river in this valley was wide and mostly blocked with ice. Gradually they gained height and the valley-sides closed in. They were climbing up the hill. The turns became sharper and the ride bumpier. Tsetan drove in third gear. The narrator felt the pressure building up in his ears. He held his nose, snorted and cleaned them. They were at 5,210 metres above sea level.

Tsetan grabbed handfuls of dirt and flung it across the icy top layer. Then he drove the car slowly and carefully on the icy surface. They continued to climb in the bright sunshine. They crept past 5,400 metres. The narrator’s head began to throb horribly. He took gulps from water bottle. Finally, they reached the top of the pass at 5,515 metres. The lower atmospheric pressure was allowing the fuel to expand. It could be dangerous. So, Tsetan advised them not to smoke.

As they moved down the other side of the pass, the narrator’s headache soon cleared. It was two o’clock. They stopped for lunch. By late afternoon, they had reached the small town of Hor. They were back on the main east-west highway. It followed the old trade route from Lhasa to Kashmir. Daniel got a ride in a truck to return to Lhasa. Tsetan got the punctured tyres repaired. The narrator found Hor a grim, miserable place with no vegetation.

They had tea in Hor’s only cafe. They left Hor after half an hour. They drove towards Mount Kailash. After 10.30 p.m. they drew up outside a guest house in Darchen. One of the narrator’s nostrils was blocked again. He was tired, hungry and gasping for breath. He could feel better when he sat up. He stayed awake all night. The following morning Tsetan took him to the Darchen medical college. The doctor felt the narrator’s pulse and gave him medicines for cold and exhaustion due to altitude. The narrator slept soundly at night after first full day’s course of medicines. When he recovered, Tsetan left him as he had to return to Lhasa.

Darchen had some simple general stores selling Chinese cigarettes, soap and supplies of food. Women washed their long hair in the icy water of a narrow brook near the guest house. There were no pilgrims. Darchen had only one cafe. He met Norbu there. He was a Tibetan but worked in Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Social Science, in the Institute of Ethnic Literature. He could speak English. He too, had come to do the Kora. Norbu was very fat. He found it very hard and tiresome to walk or go up. The narrator decided to make the trek in the company of Norbu, instead of waiting for the devout believers. They hired yaks to carry their luggage. Norbu said that he had no intention of prostrating himself all-round the mountain. It was not possible for him as his tummy was too big.

Short Answer Type Questions

1. Why did the author take the short-cut in spite of high mountain passes?

Ans. The short–cut would take them south-west, almost directly towards Mount Kailash.

2. What sights did they encounter in the rocky wilderness?

Ans. These vast open plains had only dry pastures. A few gazelles could be seen nibbling the grass. He also saw a great herd of wild asses. They passed shepherds tending their flocks. They would pause and stare at their car. They sometimes waved. When the track came close to the sheep, the animals would change direction.

3. How did the author react to the Tibetan mastiff?

Ans. The Tibetan mastiff was a huge black dog. It guarded the dark tents of nomads. They barked and ran fast towards their car. They would stop barking only after chasing them off their territory.

4. Why did the author complain of headache? How did he get relief?

Ans. The author was not used to high altitude climbing. He complained of headache when they at the height of 5,400 metres. He took gulps from his water bottle. This helped somewhat. His headache cleared as they moved down the other side of the pass.

5. Why, do you think was the author perturbed at the loud hiss emitted by the car?

Ans. Tsetan partially unscrewed the top of the car. It emitted a loud hiss. The lower atmospheric pressure was allowing the fuel to expand. The author was perturbed. He considered it dangerous.

6. What do you learn about the salt lake on the other side of the pass?

Ans. The salt lake was dry. It was on the other side of the pass. The plateau was covered with hollow areas of low flat lands near water and brackish lakes. These were the remnants of the Tethys Ocean. This ocean bordered Tibet before the great continental collision lifted it skyward.

7. Which incident does the author remember as they reached a small town, Hor?

Ans. They had suffered two punctures in quick succession on the drive from the salt lake. Tsetan was eager to have them fixed as they left him with no spares. So they stopped outside a tyre-repair shop. Daniel was returning to Lhasa. He found a ride in a truck. So the author and Tsetan bade Daniel farewell at the tyre-repair shop.

8. What is the importance of Hor? How did the author feel there?

Ans. Hor was a small town on the main east-west highway that followed the old trade route from Lhasa to Kashmir. The town was on the shore of Lake Manasarovar. But the author does not feel impressed by it. He found Hor a grim, miserable place. It had no vegetation but only dust and rocks. There were heaps of garbage too.

9. Why is lake Manasarovar Tibet’s most venerated stretch of water?

Ans. Lake Manasarovar is considered to be the source of four great Indian rivers. These are the Indus, the Ganges, the Sutlej and the Brahmaputra. Actually only the Sutlej flows from the lake. The headwaters of the others all rise nearby on the flanks of Mount Kailash.
Being the source of great rivers, lake Manasarovar is considered Tibet’s most respected stretch of water.

MCQ Questions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 Silk Road with Answers

Question 1.
Why did Norbu want to do Kora?
(a) because he wanted to become a monk
(b) because he wanted peace
(c) as he was practising meditation from so long
(d) because he was writing an academic paper on Kailash Kora

Answer

Answer: (d) because he was writing an academic paper on Kailash Kora


Question 2.
Where did the protagonist meet Norbu?
(a) at cafe
(b) at Kora
(c) at nomad’s tents
(d) at guest house

Answer

Answer: (a) at cafe


Question 3.
Where did the men play a game of pool in Darchen every afternoon?
(a) near general store in open air
(b) in the park
(c) near lake
(d) None of the above

Answer

Answer: (a) near general store in open air


Question 4.
Where did Tsetan take the protagonist to seek medical help?
(a) Darchen Medical College
(b) Tibetan Ayurvedic Doctor
(c) to Lhasa
(d) to Ravu again

Answer

Answer: (a) Darchen Medical College


Question 5.
At which place did the protagonist wait for Tsetan while he was gone to fix the punctured tyres?
(a) at roadside near lake
(b) at car tyre’s shop
(c) inside the car
(d) Hor’s cafe

Answer

Answer: (d) Hor’s cafe


Question 6.
Why was Hor an ugly and miserable place?
(a) it had no modern markets
(b) it had no vegetation
(c) it didn’t had any proper medical facilities
(d) it had no place to live

Answer

Answer: (b) it had no vegetation


Question 7.
Where did they stop to have lunch at two o’clock?
(a) at a long canvas tent beside the dry salt lake
(b) at a fancy restaurant
(c) at roadside
(d) Never

Answer

Answer: (a) at a long canvas tent beside the dry salt lake


Question 8.
At what sea level were the three of them when they saw the snow on the road?
(a) 5210 meters
(b) 6000 meters
(c) 1000 meters
(d) 5300 meters

Answer

Answer: (a) 5210 meters


Question 9.
Why did the driver stop the car at a sharp turn?
(a) he was tired and wanted to rest
(b) protagonist was feeling sick
(c) car’s tyre got punctured
(d) long track of snow was in front of them

Answer

Answer: (d) long track of snow was in front of them


Question 10.
How were the Tibetan Mastiffs famous in China’s royal court?
(a) As hunting dogs
(b) As big animal
(c) As wild animals
(d) None of the above

Answer

Answer: (a) As hunting dogs


Question 11.
What did the protagonist notice in front of nomads tent?
(a) Big black Tibetan dogs
(b) sheeps
(c) grass
(d) raw material

Answer

Answer: (a) Big black Tibetan dogs


Question 12.
What is the meaning of ‘Kyang’?
(a) flower petals
(b) sun rays
(c) huge pile of dust
(d) huge pile of grass

Answer

Answer: (c) huge pile of dust


1. What is Kora?
A. Yoga Aasan
B. Medication
C. name of a small town
D. meditation performed by Buddhist believers

2. Where was the protagonist heading towards in the beginning of the chapter?
A. Mount Kailash
B. Himalayas
C. Uttarakhand
D. Delhi

3. What was the sky looking like due to the sun rays spreading on the mountain tops?
A. yellow blush
B. rose – tinted blush
C. beautiful and fresh
D. None of the above

4. What did Lhamo give to the protagonist as a farewell gift?
A. long sleeved sheepskined coat
B. Flowers
C. leather coat
D. shoes

5. Who are Drokbas?
A. Hill Tribe
B. sheeps
C. local people
D. cuisine

6. Why did the driver take a short cut to Changtang?
A. he wanted to avoid traffic
B. he knew the shortest route towards Mount Kailash
C. he had to pick up another passenger
D. he didn’t wanted to go to that town

7. What is the meaning of ‘Kyang’?
A. flower petals
B. sun rays
C. huge pile of dust
D. huge pile of grass

8. Where did the protagonist encounter the great herd of wild ass?
A. at Mount Kailash
B. at Changtang
C. at a small town
D. where the plains became more stony

9. What did the protagonist notice in front of nomads tent?
A. Big black Tibetan dogs
B. sheeps
C. grass
D. raw material

10. What did the big Tibetan dogs do after they saw the approaching car?
A. they ran behind it as a bullet fired from a gun
B. they ignored it
C. they barked towards the car
D. they never saw it

11. How were the Tibetan Mastiffs famous in China’s royal court?
A. As hunting dogs
B. As big animal
C. As wild animals
D. None of the above

12. When did the protagonist feel pressure on his ears?
A. when they reached Mount Kailash
B. when he was feeling sick in the car
C. when they entered a valley along icy river
D. when they were passing nomads tents

13. Why did the driver stop the car at a sharp turn?
A. he was tired and wanted to rest
B. protagonist was feeling sick
C. car’s tyre got punctured
D. long track of snow was in front of them

14. What were the protagonist, Daniel and Tsetan doing when they saw the snow?
A. trying to enjoy the snow
B. sat at a rock to take rest
C. trying to move smoothly over snowy surface
D. they were trying to find a guest house

15. At what sea level were the three of them when they saw the snow on the road?
A. 5210 meters
B. 6000 meters
C. 1000 meters
D. 5300 meters

16. When did the protagonist’s head start to feel pulsated again?
A. when he reached his guest house
B. when he was climbing the mountain
C. when he was still in the car
D. when he fainted

17. Where did they stop to have lunch at two o’clock?
A. at a long canvas tent beside the dry salt lake
B. at a fancy restaurant
C. at roadside
D. Never

18. What was an old route from Lhasa to Kashmir?
A. east-west highway
B. Hor town
C. west-south highway
D. south-west highway

19. Why was Hor an ugly and miserable place?
A. it had no modern markets
B. it had no vegetation
C. it didnt had any proper medical facilities
D. it had no place to live

20. What are the names of four rivers that Lake Mansarovar consists of?
A. the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Sutlej
B. the Yamuna, the Ganga and the Indus
C. the Indus, the Ganges, the Sutlej, and the Brahmaputra
D. the Indus, the Ganges and the Yamuna

21. At which place did the protagonist wait for Tsetan while he was gone to fix the punctured tyres?
A. at roadside near lake
B. at car tyre’s shop
C. inside the car
D. Hor’s cafe

22. What happened when they reached Darchen at night to stay in the guest
House?
A. protagonist slept well
B. Tsetan went missing
C. protagonist was sad
D. protagonist wasn’t able to breathe properly

23. Where did Tsetan take the protagonist to seek medical help?
A. Darchen Medical College
B. Tibetan Ayurvedic Doctor
C. to Lhasa
D. to Ravu again

24. What did the Tibetan doctor give him?
A. a five day course medicine in a brown envelope
B. Ayurvedic medicine
C. Homeopathic medicine
D. Allopathic medicines

25. Where did the men play a game of pool in Darchen every afternoon?
A. near general store in open air
B. in the park
C. near lake
D. None of the above

26. Why was the protagonist facing communication problems in Darchen?
A. as he never wanted to talk to locals
B. as he was always busy in his meditation
C. as no one knew English
D. None of the above

27. Where did the protagonist meet Norbu?
A. at cafe
B. at Kora
C. at nomad’s tents
D. at guest house

28. Where did Norbu work?
A. in Britain
B. Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
C. in India at IIT Delhi
D. in USA

29. Why did Norbu want to do Kora?
A. because he wanted to become a monk
B. because he wanted peace
C. as he was practising meditation from so long
D. because he was writing an academic paper on Kailash Kora

30. Did the two of them – the protagonist and Norbu go to do Kora together?
A. Yes
B. No
C. Maybe
D. None of the above

Answer key for Class 11 English Hornbill Book Chapter 8 – Silk Road

Q. No.

Answer

Q. No.

Answer

Q. No.

Answer

1

D

11

A

21

D

2

A

12

C

22

D

3

B

13

D

23

A

4

A

14

C

24

A

5

A

15

A

25

A

6

B

16

B

26

C

7

C

17

A

27

A

8

D

18

A

28

B

9

A

19

B

29

D

10

A

20

C

30

B

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