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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Prose Chapter 8:Silk Road

This story is a narration of the writer Nick Middleton's journey from Ravu to Mount Kailash to complete the 'kora' or pilgrimage. The story is written entirely in a first-person voice.

To reach Mount Kailash, Nick Middleton hired a man named Tsetan to drive him there. Before setting off for his journey, a friendly woman named Lhamo gifted him a long-sleeved sheepskin coat to keep him warm on his journey. On his journey, he was accompanied by Daniel up till Darchen. Tsetan being an experienced driver, drove them through a short-cut to the south-west, which would let them reach Mount Kailash quicker. The route went across high mountains, which was safe if there was no snow. On their way, the writer witnessed a much different scene that he might not have witnessed if they took the more conventional route. He saw dark tents where nomads lived and large Tibetan mastiffs who stood guard outside the tents. The mastiffs were alerted by the car, and they started to run behind it.

Driving through their chosen route, they witness snow on the way, which posed the first hurdle on their journey. Once they reached a town called Hor, they found out the car had a few punctures. Middleton waited in a small cafe while Tsetan took the car to be fixed, after which they continued on their journey. They made a stop at Darchen to rest for the night.

The changing altitude pressure caused the writer to suffer from severe congestion, so Tsetan took him to a doctor for treatment which finally relieved his ailment. Since the writer was better, Tsetan bid him farewell. The writer faced a final challenge on his journey; that is, there were no pilgrims at that particular time to accompany him. In the end, he met a man named Norbu, originally a Tibetan, who worked in Beijing. Norbu, similar to the writer, came to Darchen alone to finish a 'kora'. On hearing this, Middleton decided to accompany him. They decided to hire yaks to carry their luggage. However, humorously, Norbu expressed that it is not possible for him since his tummy was too big.


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