British writer Rudyard Kipling's 1890 poem The Ballad of the King's Jest begins with this stanza:
When spring-time flushes the desert grass,
Our kafilas wind through the Khyber Pass.
Even today, caravans and tourists usually travel through the Khyber Pass only in spring and summer. Why?
The Khyber Pass cuts through the Hindu Kush mountain range. Hindu Kush means "Hindu killer." Hindustan is the traditional name for India, and Hindu is the religious faith of the majority of people there. What are some reasons the mountain range could be called "Hindu killer"?
The Khyber Pass is in what is today Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (formerly known as the North West Frontier Province) of Pakistan, near the city of Peshawar. It is a border region. What is the neighboring nation? (This map will help you.)
Pakistan is not a member of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the coalition supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the American war in Afghanistan. It is, however, the ISAF's most important ally. Why?
The flying bullet down the Pass,
That whistles clear: "All flesh is grass."
That is the opening stanza of another Kipling poem, Arithmetic on the Frontier. The provincial government of Khyber Pakktunkhwa quotes it on their website. What did Kipling mean by "All flesh is grass," and why is it relevant today?
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry Alexander the Great Noun
(356-323 BCE) Greek ruler, explorer, and conqueror.
group of people who travel together for safety and companionship through difficult territory.
all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.
Encyclopedic Entry: climate desert Noun
area of land that receives no more than 25 centimeters (10 inches) of precipitation a year.
Encyclopedic Entry: desert development Noun
construction or preparation of land for housing, industry, or agriculture.
height above or below sea level.
Encyclopedic Entry: elevation formidable Adjective
intimidating, or causing fear or hesitation due to difficulty.
steep-sided opening through a mountain ridge.
Encyclopedic Entry: gap Genghis Khan Noun
(1162-1227) founder of the Mongol empire.
religion of the Indian subcontinent with many different sub-types, most based around the idea of "daily morality."
caravan, supply train, or string of pack animals.
Khyber Pass Noun
gap in the Hindu Kush mountains linking Pakistan and Afghanistan.
mountain range Noun
series or chain of mountains that are close together.
written or spoken composition notable for its beauty or rhythm.
Rudyard Kipling Noun
(Joseph Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936) British author and winner of the Nobel Prize (1906).
part of a poem, marked by a certain number of lines or syllables.
extreme incline or decline.
person who travels for pleasure.
movement of people or goods from one place to another.