NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 - Silk Road

Class 11 English Chapter 8 NCERT Solutions - Silk Road - Free PDF Download

The historical silk route was the prime connection for trading, political, cultural and religious exchange between East and West. This chapter from Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 Silk Road retells the journey of a man to reach Mt. Kailash. Author Nick Middleton starts his journey from the slopes of Ravu.

The author with characters like Norbu, Tsetan and Daniel shows the value of relationship and the importance of companionship. This story also shows a man’s strong determination to complete the goal while facing hardships.

Nick Middleton, through his narration, describes the beauty of Mansarovar lake and Darchen. Students, by reading from Silk Road Class 11 NCERT solutions will learn about these intricacies of narrative writing.

Reading and practising from this solution will help young learners in scoring flying high grades in respective exams and have an all-round development.

Do you need help with your Homework? Are you preparing for Exams?
Study without Internet (Offline)
NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 - Silk Road part-1

Access NCERT Solutions For Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 - Silk Road

1. Notice these expressions in the text. Infer their meanings from the context.

(i) Ducking back

Ans: going inside quickly and coming back out

(ii) Swathe

Ans: to wrap or cover, contextual meaning: land covered with snow

(iii) Careered down

Ans: descending down the slope

(iv) Manoeuvres

Ans: military exercises involving large troops of soldiers, ships etc.

(v) Cairn of rocks

Ans: pile of stones that create a mark for a special place like the top of a mountain or where someone is buried

(vi) Salt flats

Ans: houses having thatched roofs covered with snow


Ans: filled with air and swelled

Understanding the Text

Give reasons for the following statements.

1. The article has been titled ‘Silk Road.’

Ans: This article’s name is based on the historic silk road or route, the network which connected the Afro Eurasian landmass. Many trades were established by it – Chinese silk, spices, teas and porcelain; the Roman Empire’s gold, silver, fine glassware, carpets, jewels and wine; Indian textiles, pepper and precious stones. The road largely traded silk with China and was therefore named Silk road. In the chapter, the author was exploring the Himalayan belt in Tibet and travelled to Mount Kailash. The chapter is named Silk Road as the author explored this region.

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

Ans: Tibetan mastiffs were popular as hunting dogs in imperial courts of China. In ancient times they were brought as a tribute from Tibet and they were brought along the Silk Road. They were used as watchdogs because they were huge and black. They are fast like bullets and explode very quickly. Their breed is fearless and furious.

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

Ans: Hor was a gloomy and pathetic place. There was very little vegetation and there was dust and rocks dispersed everywhere. Although the place was situated on the shore of Lake Mansarovar, it still seemed unfortunate and miserable. The author was really astonished to see the contrast between his experience with that of the previously read accounts. Ekai Kawaguchi, a Japanese monk arrived there in 1990 and he got so moved by the holiness of the Lake that tears came into his eyes. A similar effect was felt by Sven Hedin, a swede when he visited the hallowed waters. However, when the author reached the Hor, he had to get two punctures mended first. He felt relaxed only when he was served tea at the only café in town, by Chinese youth. The café was made with badly painted concrete and it had three broken windows. However, one of the windows had a good view of the Lake and it helped to compensate a little. 

4. The author was disappointed with Darchen.

Ans: The author was disappointed with Darchen because he was having health problems due to high altitudes. He got a bad cold and was unable to sleep at night. There were no pilgrims coming to the place as the author was one of the firsts to arrive. The place was worn down and it was dusty. There were heaps of rubble and refuse. 

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

Ans: The author was not happy with Darchen. He was in bad health after reaching there. The author also felt lonely without any pilgrims around. Just then, he met a Tibetan, Norbu, who also wanted to visit Kailash. They both made a good team as they both were academicians and had escaped the library. The author began to think positively and he felt new hope and enthusiasm.

6. The purpose of the author’s journey to Mount Kailash. 

Ans: Nick Middleton is a Professor at Oxford and an adventurer as well. He reaches Mount Kailash by following the most difficult terrain via the Silk Road. He visited the sacred place to complete the Kora. 

7. The author’s physical condition in Darchen.

Ans: The author did not feel well when he reached Darchen. He got a very bad cold and his sinuses got blocked due to the cold wind at Hor. He was not even able to sleep well that night. The very next day, he was taken to the Darchen Medical College by Tsetan. There, the doctor gave him medicines that provided him relief.

8. The author’s meeting with Norbu.

Ans: After Tsetan left for Lhasa, the author felt lonely without him. The author was one of the firsts in the season to reach Darchen, so there weren’t any pilgrims there. It was then that he met Norbu. He was also an academician and a Tibetan. He was also visiting Kailash and they both decided to go together.

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

Ans: Tsetan was an efficient driver and drove the car very carefully. He spoke to the author during the journey and gave him information about the places that they were visiting. He also took care of the author when he got to know that he was not well. He took him to the Darchen Medical College and got him medicine. He was a good Buddhist. 

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

Ans: Tsetan was a Buddhist and so he used to believe that death was not the end of life. He believed that Kailash was a sacred place and it’s better for him as it would lead him to heaven. But if the author died there, his business would be affected badly as his credibility would be at risk for looking after the tourists and he might not get any customers later on.

Talking about Text

Discuss in groups of four.

1. The sensitive behaviour of hill-folk.

Ans: The behaviour of hill-folk is innocent and unsophisticated. They are very religious people and fear God. They are very kind and hospitable. They take good care of the visitors.

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

Ans: The author undertook this journey because of educational purposes as he was an academician. He went on the journey to have a learning experience. People also undertake such journeys because of the kind of adventure they provide. The areas that the author visited are some of the toughest terrains in the world. People also visit these places due to religious reasons and as a part of a pilgrimage.

3. The accounts if exotic places in legends and reality. 

Ans: Exotic places hold many accounts in legends and reality. Places like Mount Kailash and Mansarovar have an important place in the legends. These places are being written about in many articles as well.

Thinking about Language

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

Ans: Although Tsetan's mother tongue was not English, he tried to speak it in a well-organised manner to attract more and more customers. Daniel was a translator who helped Tsetan and the author to understand each other. However, we should remember that more than words, the language of the heart is what matters the most. Gestures along with good understanding are pretty enough to understand someone.

2.  What do the following utterances indicate?

(i) “I told her, through Daniel…”

Ans: She was not able to understand English but Daniel translated what he said into the Tibetan language for her.

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

Tsetan translated into English what the doctor said in Tibetan, for the author.

3. Guess the meaning of the following words. 

Kora, drokba, kyang

In which language are these words found?

Ans: Kora – circumambulate, walking all the way round

Droka – shepherd

Kyang – a wild Tibetan ass

These words are from the Tibetan language.

Working with words

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.


(i) After ducking back into her tent, she emerged carrying one of the hang sleeved sheepskin coats that…

(ii) It involved crossing several fairly high mountain passes.

(iii) Extended banks of cloud-like French loaves glowed as the Sun emerged to splash the distant mountain tops with a rose-tinted blush. 

And etc.

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

i. Shaggy monsters

Ans: hairy, bushy

ii. Brackish lakes


iii. Rickety table

shaky, unsteady

iv. Hairpin bend

a very sharp bend

v. Rudimentary general stores

elementary, basic

Noticing Form

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.

Ans: Following are the few passive voice sentences present in the text:

(i )What was the likelihood of that I asked.

(ii) By late afternoon we had reached.

(iii) That night, after my first full day’s course, I slept very soundly.

(iv) Once he saw that I was going to live Tsetan left me…

(v) The pilgrimage trail was well-trodden…

(vi) The cafe had a single-window beside which I’d taken up position

The active voice is used to show that the subject of the activity is the person, place, or object that is doing it. The active voice is used in this story to put the reader in the shoes of the narrator. It allows us to identify with his adventure as the "I" in the story and to feel as if we are travelling across Tibet with them.

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

Ans: Following are five sentences with similar sentence structure-

(i) Reema was hoping to have the doors fixed.

(ii) The patient was impatiently waiting to get her teeth fixed.

(iii) The truck driver was about to have his licence cancelled.

(iv) The kids were waiting to get their water bottles refilled.

(v) The teacher was eager to have her class extended.

NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter Silk Road

This chapter is taken from the book ‘Extreme along the Silk Road: Adventures of the worlds’ oldest highway’ by Nick Middleton published on 8 May 2006.

Silk Road question answer Class 11th is prepared in a way to help a student understand the narration and writer’s perspective better. Silk Road is a beautiful story which gives an account of the author’s journey and his outlook on the surrounding.

Through the eyes of the author, a student sees the path to Mt. Kailash and enjoy the splendour of nature.  This text contains exercise at the end, which is structured in a way to help young learners revise for an exam.

Silk Road Class 11 NCERT solutions are available in PDF format and are easy to download. The question covers the essential sections of this text, and its answers are written in CBSE pattern.

Class 11 English Silk Road NCERT Solutions

Question 1 in  NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8 Silk Road

In this question, students need to infer the meaning of certain words from the text. These expressions are ducking back-quickly going inside and coming out, manoeuvres-a type of military exercise, billowed-filled with air and swathe-a long stretch of land. Other terms like a cairn of rocks-a pile of stones that mark a particular place, careered down-descending the slope and salt flats- thatched roof houses covered with snow, are needed to be deduced from Silk Road Class 11 NCERT solutions.

Question 2 in NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Silk Road

Students need to answer why this article is titled Silk road. In this chapter, the author travels to Mount Kailash for pilgrimage. He has to travel via the historic Silk Route, which was the network of trade between Asia and Afro Eurasian landmass. Since the narrator explored the Himalayan belt in Tibet, this chapter is titled Silk Route.

Question 3 in NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Chapter Silk Road

This third question is also a statement that Tibertian Mastiffs were famous in China’s imperial court. Students have to explain that Tibetian Mastiffs were preferred as a hunting dog. Due to their fearlessness and activeness, these dogs were brought along the Silk Route as a companion.

Questions 4 and 5 in NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Silk Road

Fourth and fifth question in the Silk Road Class 11 NCERT solutions, asks students the view of the author on Hot and Darchen region. According to the narrator, Hor and Darchen were a miserable and grim area filled with dust and rock. In contrast to Japanese Monk Ekai Kawaguchi and Sven Hedin’s description, the site didn’t attract the author. Moreover, the high Altitude of Darchen made the author sick. His only comfort was the serene beauty of Lake Mansarovar.

Question 6 in NCERT Solutions of Class 11 English Chapter Silk Road

This question asks students for the author’s view of how his positive thinking strategy worked well. Left alone to complete the journey, the author took an oath to complete this pilgrimage with a positive attitude. This helped him reach the destination with enthusiasm.

Questions 6 and 7 in NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Chapter 8

In question number 6 and 7 of Silk Road Class 11 NCERT solutions, students have to tell the reason for the author’s journey and his health conditions in Darchen. Nick Middleton visited Mt. Kailash to complete kora. During his trip, in Darchen, his sinus was blocked and rushed to Darchen Medical college.

Questions 8 and 9 in NCERT Solutions Class 11 English Silk Road

Question 8 and 9 ask students to describe characters Norbu and Tsetan. Both characters helped the author during his pilgrimage. Norbu accompanied the narrator to Mt. Kailash.

Apart from these eight questions, there are seven questions which ask students about the events in the text. There are questions like a description of the sensitive behaviour of hill folk, and the reason why people undertake a difficult journey for pilgrimage. It also has questions ideal for thinking about language like utterances, meaning of words and explaining adjectives of certain phrases.

Benefits of Practicing From Silk Road Question Answers Class 11th

The Silk Road Class 11 NCERT solutions will benefit a student in the following ways:

  • Questions and solutions are prepared under the guidance of professionals.

  • These answers are written in a structure that guarantees a good score in CBSE examination.

  • Solutions are written in a simple language for the ease of learning.

  • Answers are explained in a step by step manner for better understanding.

To avail these multiple features, check Vedantu today and enjoy a hassle-free download. Now study at your convenience without worrying about spending expenses on tuition notes.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How is the Behaviour of Hill Folk?

Ans. According to the author, hill folk are innocent and unsophisticated. They are very hospitable and friendly to interact. Moreover, these people take care of the people from outside with the gentlest manner. Author also describes their behaviour and religious sentiment through the characters. Such as Tsetan was an avid worshipper and feared god.

2. Where is the Town of Hor Situated?

Ans. Hor region is situated on the east-west highway between Lhasa and Kashmir. It is a grim and desolate area which lacs vegetation which is littered with dust and rocks. This area is located near Lake Mansarovar, which is the epitome of serenity and splendour. Moreover, the concrete buildings near the area are badly painted, even the café nearby has broken windows.

3. Who is Norbu and Why is the Narrator Happy to Meet Him?

Ans. Norbu is a Tibetan working in Beijing at the Chinese academy. As per the author’s description in Silk Road Class 11 NCERT Solutions, Norbu wore windcheater and metal-rimmed glasses. He spoke fluently in English and was on a journey to Mt. Kailash.

Unlike the author, Norbu did not believe in Kora on foot and chose to ride a Yak instead. Author was happy to find a companion for his journey as Tsetan had left, and the trip was long.

Share this with your friends