Silk Road

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Silk Roadwritten by Nick Middleton : 

Silk Roadwritten by Nick Middleton Power point presentation By Akash Kadam & Akshay Brahma Class-XI COMM.

Nick Middleton : 

Nick Middleton

About Nick Middleton : 

About Nick Middleton Supernumerary Fellow in Physical Geography at St. Anne's College, Oxford. Nick is a firm believer in the steadfastly geographical maxim that travel broadens the mind. So far, he has visited more than eighty countries, with a variety of excuses. He has reviewed industrial development in Mongolia for the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and written information boards for a Kenyan National Park. He has taught earth sciences in Oman and investigated whale-watching in Ecuador, assessed educational tours in Ghana and led wildlife expeditions to Namibia.

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Foreign travel also provides him with the material for his other geographical passion: writing travelogues - see The Last Disco in Outer Mongolia (Phoenix, 1992), Kalashnikovs and Zombie Cucumbers: Travels in Mozambique (Phoenix, 1994), Travels as a Brussels Scout (Phoenix, 1997), Ice Tea and Elvis: A Saunter through the Southern States (Phoenix, 2000). In 2002, he won the Royal Geographical Society's Ness Award in recognition of widening the public enthusiasm for geography through his travel writing, and his articles appear not infrequently in the travel section of the Sunday Times. His most recent travelogues - Going to Extremes (Pan, 2003), Surviving Extremes (Pan, 2004) and Extremes along the Silk Road (J Murray, 2005) - have been written in association with three four-part television series.

Silk Road : 

Silk Road

About Silk Road : 

About Silk Road The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa. The land routes were supplemented by sea routes which extended from the Red Sea to East Africa, India, China, and Southeast Asia. Extending 4,000 miles (6,500 km), the Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade along it, which began during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). The central Asian sections of the trade routes were expanded around 114 BCE by the Han dynasty,[1] largely through the missions and explorations of Zhang Qian,[2] but earlier trade routes across the continents already existed.[citation needed] In the late Middle Ages, transcontinental trade over the land routes of the Silk Road declined as sea trade increased,.[3] In recent years, both the maritime and overland Silk Routes are again being used, often closely following the ancient routes.

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Trade on the Silk Road was a significant factor in the development of the great civilizations of China, India, Ancient Egypt, Persia, Arabia, and Ancient Rome, and in several respects helped lay the foundations for the modern world. Though silk was certainly the major trade item from China, many other goods were traded, and various technologies, religions and philosophies, as well as the bubonic plague (the "Black Death"), also traveled along the Silk Routes. Some of the other goods traded included luxuries such as silk, satin, hemp and other fine fabrics, musk, other perfumes, spices, medicines, jewels, glassware, and even rhubarb, as well as slaves.[4] China traded silk, teas, and porcelain; while India traded spices, ivory, textiles, precious stones, and pepper; and the Roman Empire exported gold, silver, fine glassware, wine, carpets, and jewels. Although the term the Silk Road implies a continuous journey, very few who traveled the route traversed it from end to end; for the most part, goods were transported by a series of agents on varying routes and were traded in the bustling markets of the oasis towns.[4] The main traders during Antiquity were the Indian and Bactrian traders, then from the 5th to the 8th century CE the Sogdian traders, then afterward the Arab and Persian traders.

Silk Road’s Name : 

Silk Road’s Name The Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade, a major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive transcontinental network.[5][6] The German terms "Seidenstraße" and "Seidenstraßen"- 'the Silk Road(s)' or 'Silk Route(s)' were coined by Ferdinand von Richthofen, who made seven expeditions to China from 1868 to 1872.[7][8] Some scholars prefer the term "Silk Routes" because the road included an extensive network of routes, though few were more than rough caravan tracks.

About the travelogue or book : 

About the travelogue or book

Book review : 

Book review The author chronicles the challenges and hardships he faced in the Silk Road regions as they are now. The reader finds it refreshing to traverse such vast tracts of physical geography, expanses of the natural world that remain largely untamed. As a trade route, the Silk Road has been less a single highway and more a network of overland routes linking Europe with Asia, making trade possible between those with a passion for silk, horses and exotic fauna and flora. Just about every transaction imaginable has occurred along its many trails over the centuries. Middleton's particular passion consists of exposing himself to nature's vicissitudes like facing oxygen starvation in Tibet as he climbs towards the "navel of the universe," and other hardships during the journey.

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The author is an adventurer, but at heart more a meticulous academic than a daredevil. Researching the different forms of altitude sickness, he is alarmed to discover it can lead to swelling of the brain or to the lungs slowly filling with fluid. Having no religious inclinations himself, he begins to speculate on Tibetan Buddhism as a prerequisite for survival at such an altitude, yet makes the classic Western error of putting bodily discipline before mental striving. This account of the Silk Road, with its contrasts and exotic detail, certainly describes the challenges and hardships Middleton faced. However, if he had sacrificed some of the sense of his own heroism, and introduced instead more of a sense of wonder or of the absurd, the book would have proved a more entertaining read.

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Leaving Ravu: The author left Ravu in the company of Daniel and Tsetan. Before leaving the place, Lhamo gave him a gift. She gave him a long-sleeved sheepskin coat. Their next destination was Mount Kailash and Tsetan knew a short cut. He said the journey would be smooth if there was no snow. The sight of Drokbas: As they passed by the hills, they could see the lonely drokbas tending their flocks. There were men and women, well wrapped. They would pause and stare at their car, occasionally waving as they passed. Summary

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The Tibetan Mastiff: As they passed the nomad's tents there were the Tibetan mastiffs. They would explode into action as they neared the tents. They barked furiously and completely fearless. They would chase the car for some distance and would then go back. Ice blocking their way: The turns became sharper and bumpier. The sudden and unexpected fall of snow started blocking their way. Both the author and Daniel got out of the car for Tsetan to drive it safely, taking sharp bends. They were at 5210 meters above the sea level. The icy top layer of the snow was very dangerous; the car could slip off the road. The snow continued blocking their way. As they reached 5515 meters above the sea level, the atmospheric pressure became very low and Tsetan opened the lid of the petrol tank to release the evaporated fuel. The author experienced severe headache. The town of Hor: By late afternoon, they had reached the small town of Hor. Daniel returned Lhasa and Tsetan repaired the flat tyre of the car. Hor was grim, miserable place. There was no vegetation whatsoever, just dust and rocks. There was the accumulated refuse everywhere. Unlike the past, the place no longer appeared holy.

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Reaching Darchen: By 10.30 p.m., they reached a guesthouse in Darchen. The author had a very troubled night. His sinus were blocked and he was not able to get enough oxygen and finding it difficult to sleep. Most of the night he sat up and was not able to sleep. Visiting the Medical College: The next day Tsetan took him to the Darchen Medical College. The doctor told him it was just cold and the altitude giving him troubles. He gave him some medicine and that night he was able to sleep well. Tsetan leaving for Lhasa: Tsetan left the author in Darchen and went away. He did not mind if the author would die in Darchen. He was a good Buddhist and believed in life after death. However, he was worried it could affect his business, as he may not get more tourists to be accompanied.

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Dry Darchen: Like Hor Darchen was dusty and heaps of refuse could be seen all around. There were not many shops in Darchen. The town appeared to be sparsely populated. He felt lonely, as they were not any pilgrims. He had reached there very early in the season. Meeting Norbu: The author wanted to reach Mount Kailash to do kora. But he didn't want to do it alone. He was looking for someone who could speak or understand English. One day he was sitting in a café. When Norbu saw him reading an English book he came and introduced him to the author. He was a Tibetan, but worked in Beijing at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He too was there to do kora. But he was not a religious person. Both of them decided to climb Mount Kailash.

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The end : 

The end Thank you

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