Class 11 English Chapter 8 Silk Road

Class 11 English Chapter 8 Silk Road answer to each chapter is provided in the list so that you can easily browse through different chapters Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 Silk Road, Class 11 English Hornbill Question Answer, HS 1st year English Notes and select needs one.

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Class 11 English Chapter 8 Silk Road

Also, you can read the SCERT Class 11 English Chapter 8 Silk Road All Be Together” book Notes online in these sections Solutions by Expert Teachers as per AHSEC (SCERT) Book guidelines. Class 11 English Chapter 8 Silk Road Notes are part of SCERT All Subject Solutions. Here we have given Assam Board Class 11 English Chapter 8 Silk Road Solutions for All Subjects, You can practice these here.

Silk Road

Chapter: 8




I. Give reasons for the following statements.

1. The article has been titled ‘Silk Road

Ans. Appropriately titled ‘Silk Road, this account is like a picture gallery of the route that the author had taken from Lhasa    to Mount Kailash. The route has always been known as Skil Road by virtue of it being the main trade route for commodities Like silk, horses, dry fruits, etc. from China via Kashmir upto Afghanistan. It is a refreshing narrative that traversas vast tracts of picturesque terrain that remain largely untamed

2. Tibetan mastiffs were popular in China’s imperial courts.

Ans. The Tibetan mastiffs, that the author came across guarding the nomad’s tents, were popular as hunting dos in the royal courts of China. These dogs were brought along the Silk Road in ancient times from Tibet to China.

3. The author’s experience at Hor was in stark contrast to earlier accounts of the place.

Ans. The author had read several accounts of Hor before visiting the place. A Japanese monk was so touched by the pristine beauty of Lake Mansarovar in the yaar 1900, that he burst into tears. Simitar feelings were experienced by a  Swede a few years tater. But, what the author saw was in distinct contradiction to what he had road. Hor was a dull and miserable place with rocks and dust and no vegetation anywhere. It was situated on the shore of Lake Mansarovar which was supposed to be the source of four great Indian rivers. There were heaps of garbage scattered all around and layers of accumulated refuse, all marring the beauty of the revered lake

4. The author was disappointed with Darchen.

Ans. The Darchen did not look as Hor, yet it was dusty, partially in ruins and scattered with heaps of garbage.However, the only saving grace  was the majestie view of the Himalayas. The town had Hrrisleiys, Tha town had a few undeveloped stores providing just basic necessities. The place wore a relaxed and lazy look. What brought disappointed to the author was that there were no pilgrims. He was too early for the ‘kora’.

5. The author thought that his positive thinking strategy worked well after all.

Ans. After his initial disappointment with Darchen, accompanied by illness and Titan’s departure, the author met Norbu. This meeting brought back his positivism. Hs was feeling rather disheartened with no pilgrims around, But with Norbu, he felt that would be a good team, both being academicians to do the ‘kora’ the first time. The author started thinking positively and it gave him some delight and a now enthusiasm.

II. Briefly comment on :

1. The purpose of the authors journey to Mount Kailash.

Ans. The author undertook the journey to Mount Kailash in order to Complete a religious ritual called kora. According to Hindu and Buddhist tradition, the kora around Mount Kailash is one of the most sacred religious rituals. The author, an Englishman, went there to have a first hand experience.

2. The authors physical condition at Darchen.

Ans. The first night at Darchen was horrible for the author, One of his nostrils was blocked. His chest fell  heavy and ha could not lie down to sleep. He tried propping himself up against the Wall, but was scared to lie down, He had a feeling he might never wake up if he slept. So, he kept awake all night. 

3. The author’s meeting with Norbu.

Ans. The author was feeling  rather lonely without Tsetan, who had left for Lhasa. There were no  pilgrims in Darchon as he had reached the place much early in the season. It was then that he met Norbu at a cafe. This Tibetan academician’s company provided the much needed help and relief to the author and revived the positive spirit in him.

4. Tsetan’s support to the author during the journey.

Ans. Belonging to the hills, Tsetan was of tremendous help to the author who was making his journey to Mount Kailash. He had complete and thorough knowledge of the hills and local routes which enabled him to navigate through the harsh terrain. He had a workable knowledge of English and could guide the author through the places they passed. At Darchen, he was there with the author to take him to a doctor and left only when he was sure that there was no severe illness. The author felt quite lonely and helpless without Tsetan.

5. “As a Buddhist, he told me, he knew that it really didn’t really matter if I passed away, but he thought it would be bad for business.”

Ans. Tsetan’s remark should be read from the viewpoint of a devout Buddhist. According to Buddhism, life is full of sorrow and death brings nirvana or liberation of the soul. And being able to shed One’s life in a pilgrimage would be a blessing. But, it would be bad for his business as his credibility as a tourist driver would be at stake if he could not look after them properly, and ensure their safety.


Discuss in groups of four

1. The sensitive behaviour of hill-folk.

Group A : People living in hills are far more sensitive than those of the plains.

Group B : That is may be because they are still away from the hectic and commercial life of the plains. They are, in a way, secluded in the hills, living more simple life. 

Group A : Their food habits, agriculture, occupation,etc. are all different from the plains. That is why, they are a close knit in their society.

Group B : Their simplicity is mainly because of their close association with nature. Due to the innocence and simplicity of their life, they are a sensitive lot.

Group A : And because of the harsh terrain, they are far more hard-working than the people of the plains.

Group B : Their minds, like their environment, are unpolluted. Thus, they find pleasures in little things of life.

2. The reasons why people willingly undergo the travails of difficult journeys.

Group A : I sometimes find it difficult why people put their lives at risk to take the challenge of difficult journeys.

Group B : And that too, willingly!

Group A : It’s not that they are different from us in any way, but they hear their inner voice beckoning them to take the challenge. Most of us like the sheltered and secure life of our  homes and do not want that disturbed.

Group B : Actually, we must admit that they are the people who dare to do it. They are courageous and adventurous. They have a constant thirst to explore the unknown and not to leave any mystery unravelled.

Group A : But, if you talk in the context of this write-up, I have to say that it is not only adventure that takes people through the hazardous terrain to Mount Kailash, but also a devout faith in religion. Faith provides such mental strength that even old people undertake the journey.

Group B : So, basically it’s one’s faith and conviction. For some, it is adventure, for others it is religion.  

3. The accounts of exotic places in legends and the reality.

[Please note: Students will discuss on their own choice of place ]


1. Notice the kind of English Tsetan uses while talking to author. How do you think he picked it up.

Ans. Tsetan does not speak very fluent and correct English. But he has workable  knowledge of the tourists over the years.

2. What do the following utterances indicate ?

(i) “I told her, through Daniel……”

(ii) “It’s a cold,” he said finally through Tsetan.

Ans. In sentence (i), the author wanted to convey something to Lhamo but had to convey through Daniel as he did not know

Tibetan and Lhamo did not understand English. So, Daniel acted as a medium of communication In sentence 

(ii), the Tibetan doctor spoke of his diagnosis in Tibetan, which Tsetan translated into English for the author.

3. Guess the meaning of the following words.

kora         drokba            kyang

In which language are these words found ?

Ans. kora : The religious ritual of going round Mount Kailash.

drokba : Tibetan shepherd, usually seen in their long sleeved sheepskin coats.

kyang : wild ass.These words are found in Tibetan language.


1. The narrative has many phrases to describe the scenic beauty of the mountainside like: 

A flawless half-moon floated in a perfect blue sky.

Scan the text to Locate other such picturesque phrases. 

Ans. (i) ‘Extended banks of  cloud…………….mountain tops with rose-tinted blush.’

(ii) ‘………snow capped mountains gathering on the horizon.’

(iii) ‘…….marked by a large cairn of rocks festooned with……..prayer flags.’

(iv)’……the sun shone brilliantly in the clear blue sky……..huge, snow-capped mountain, Gurla Mandhata.’

2. Explain the use of the adjectives in the following phrases.

(i) shaggy monsters

(ii) rickety table

(iii) brackish lakes

(iv) hairpin ben

(v) rudimentary general stores.

Ans. (i) shaggy monsters : ‘shaggy’ means covered with long Coarse hair or wool. Here, it is used to describe the hair or, the biack Tibetan mastiffs which were coarse and tangled.

(ii) Brackish lakes : ‘brackish’ means salty. It is used to describe the salt-water lakes on the mountains.

(iii) rickety table : ‘rickety’ means something that is liable to fall down or break apart. Here, it is used to describe the condition of the table at the café in Darchen.

(iv) hairpin bend : ‘hairpin’ is the U shaped wire to keep hair in place. It is used in the context of describing the sharp turns and bends that Tsetan negotiated on the mountainous road.

(v) rudimentary general stores: basic or elementary stores. These stores provided the most basic necessities for the people living there.


1. The account has only a few passive voice sentences. Locate them. In what way does the use of active voice contribute to the style of the narrative ?

a) It was marked by a cairn of rocks…….ragged prayer flags.

b. The plateau is pockmarked by salt flats and brackish lakes.

c) I was served by a Chinese youth in military uniform.

d) One of my nostrils was blocked.

e) The pilgrim’s trail was well trodden. 

The use of active voice makes the narrative more direct and realistic. It feels as if the author is directly talking to us or telling us his own story.

2. Notice this construction: Tsetan was eager to have them fixed. Write five sentences with a similar structure

Ans. (i) The father was eager to get his son posted at his hometown.

(ii) She was determined to have them punished.

(iii) The Chief wanted the work done by Monday.

(iv) The party conspired to have him defeated.

(v) I want this work done at the earliest.


LONG ANSWER TYPE (100 to 125 words)

1. Give an account of the author’s journey to complete the ‘kora’ at Mount Kailash.

[Please note This answer is a concise form of the entire journey. Students will write according to the marks allotted.

Ans. The author, Nick Middleton, decided to undertake the difficult journey to Mount Kailash to complete the religious ritual of ‘kora’. He left in the company of a local tourist guide cum driver Tsetan, and another person named Daniel. Tsetan was well versed with the routes and took the short cut from Ravu that could lead them directly towards Mount Kailash through the high mountain passes. Tsetan assured the author that they would have a smooth journey provided there was no snow on the road. In the vast open plains a few gazelles were seen grazing in the dry grasslands. As they gradually gained height, the road became stony and less grassy. A herd of wild ass was seen galloping away, leaving behind a cloud of dust. Here and there they could see solitary shepherds in their sheepskin coats tending their flocks. The tents of the nomads were guarded by huge Tibetan mastiffs that ferociously saw to it that their property was not trespassed. They had come across snow on their path,

but Titan’s expertise and manoeuvres enabled them to move on. They continued their ascent of the mountains till they reached a small town at the top. Hor was a small, dilapidated town on the shore of Lake Mansarovar. The town was rather disappointing with heaps of garbage and refuse scattered all around. Daniel departed from there. Tsetan got two punctured tyres repaired and then they proceeded to Darchen.

Late at night, they arrived at a guest house in Darchen. The author had a sleepless night due to blocked nostril and heaviness in the chest. Next morning, Tsetan took him to a Tibetan doctor whose medicines greatly relieved him. When Tsetan was assured of the author’s health, he left him there and drove back to Lhasa. Darchen too was a small town, very dirty, laid back and relaxed. There were hardly any tourists or pilgrims, which disappointed the author. In fact, after Tsetan left, he did not come across anyone who had even a workable knowledge of English, till he met Norbu. An academician at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Norbu was a Tibetan who had written several papers on the Kailash kora, but had never experienced it himself. The author found a good companion and they decided to climb the mountain together.

2. Describe the narrator’s meeting with Norbu. How could Norbu turn out to be an ideal companion for him ?

Ans.  In the small town of Darchen, the author felt very lonely and helpless after Tsetan had left him. He was too early for the pilgrim season and there was none who could speak English.Thus, he sat in Darchen’s only café where he met a Tibetan academician, Norbu who worked in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and had written several papers on the Kailash kora. He had come to do the kora and was delighted to accompany the author as a team. Middleton had initially planned to climb the mountain in the company of devout pilgrims, but was now relieved when Norbu suggested they should hire yaks to carry the luggage.

The author felt Norbu could be an ideal companion as both were academicians and were there to do the kora for the first time. He had a feeling that his positive- thinking strategy was working, after all.

SHORT ANS WER TYPE (30 to 40 words)

1. Where is the Silk Road ?

Ans. The Silk Road was the ancient trade route from China, Tibet Kashmir and upto Afghanistan. This route went further up to the European countries. It has been so named as silk was an important commodity that was traded, along with dry fruits and horses.

2. Who gave the narrator a farewell gift and what was it ?

Ans. A Tibetan lady named Lhamo, who lent them a tent at Ravu gave him a farewell gift. It was a long sleeved sheepskin coat that the shepherds wore to keep them warm.

3. What was the weather like when they left Ravu ?

Ans. It was a lovely morning with a perfectly blue sky when they left Ravu. The half moon floated in the sky with long bands of clouds accumulated in a pink hue of the rising sun. Even the mountain tops glowed with a rose-tinted blush.

4. What did they see in the vast open plains ?

Ans. They saw few gazelles grazing in the dry grasslands. These antelopes would look at the vehicle with a frown and run farther away in a jumping movement.

5. Who was Tsetan ?

Ans. Tsetan was the taxi driver who was to take the author up to Darchen. He was a local Tibetan and knew all the short cuts very well.

6. What possible problems did Tsetan anticipate ? Did they come across such problems ?

Ans. Tsetan had informed the author that they would have a smooth journey provided there was no snow on the road. But they co not avoid the problem. Twice on the road, they had to negotiate and manoeuvre over stretches of snow.

7. Who are ‘drokbas’ ?

Ans. ‘Drokba’ is a Tibetan word for shepherd. These drokbas were nomadic tribes who wandered from place to place looking for pastures for their flock. They set up tents and tended to their flocks and wore long sleeved sheepskin coat.

8. How does the author describe the Tibetan mastiff ?

Ans. Tibetan mastiffs were huge black dogs standing guard at the nomad’s tents. These ferocious monsters would shoot towards anyone who passed by their property. They would chase the strangers till about a hundred metres, barking furiously with massive jaws.

9. Why did the author’s head throb horribly and what did he do to relieve himself ?

Ans. The narrator’s head throbbed horribly as they rapidly climbed the mountains. It was the effect of high altitude. He took several gulps of water from his bottle, as advised by Tsetan, to relieve himself. 

10. Describe the plateau which has the vestiges of the Tethys Ocean.

Ans. The plateau was marked by salt flats and salt lakes. These were the traces of the Tethys Ocean which once bordered Tibet before the great continental collision. Men, in salt covered boots, worked there with shovels and pickaxes.

11. Describe Hor as seen by the narrator.

Ans. Situated on the bank of Lake Mansarovar, Hor was a grim and miserable place, filthy with heaps of garbage lying scattered all around. It was rocky and dusty and without any vegetation.

12. How did the author’s account of Hor differ from earlier accounts he had read ?

Ans. In 1900, a Japanese monk was so touched by the sanctity of Lake Mansarovar that he burst into tears. Later a Swedish man was overwhelmed by the pristine beauty of the place. Thus, the narrator was shocked at the contrast between what he had read and what actually lay in front of his eyes.

13. How does the author describe the town of Darchen ?

Ans. Darchen was a small town, as dirty as Hor. There were a few general stores selling basic necessities along with prayer flags. It looked relaxed and unhurried with men playing a game of pool in front of a shop and few women washing their hair in the icy water of a brook.

14. What was the author’s physical condition at Darchen ?

Ans. The author spent a sleepless night on arriving at Darchen. One nostril was blocked and he found it hard to breathe. He was tired and hungry. He could not lie down for his chest felt heavy It was the effect of cold and high altitude.

15. Why was the narrator disappointed in Darchen ?

Ans. The narrator was disappointed in Darchen when he realised he arrived too early for the pilgrim season. He had planned to trek with the pilgrims to Mount Kailash. Moreover, none could understand English even to answer his queries of whether the roads would be clear of snow.

16. Describe the narrator’s first meeting with Norbu.

Ans. The narrator was sitting at the café when Norbu came in and asked if he could sit opposite. He enquired if the narrator was English and struck up a conversation. They became friendly and decided to do the kora together.

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