The Delhi Durbar (meaning "Court of Delhi) was an Indian imperial style mass assembly organised by the British at Coronation Park, Delhi, India, to mark the succession of an Emperor or Empress of India. Also known as the Imperial Durbar, it was held three times, in 1877, 1903, and 1911, at the height of the British Empire. The 1911 Durbar was the only one that a sovereign, George V, attended. The term was derived from the common Mughal term durbar.
Called the "Proclamation Durbar", the Durbar of 1877, for which the organisation was undertaken by Thomas Henry Thornton, was held beginning on 1 January 1877 to proclaim Queen Victoria as Empress of India by the British. The 1877 Durbar was largely an official event and not a popular occasion with mass participation like later durbars in 1903 and 1911. It was attended by the 1st Earl of Lytton—Viceroy of India, maharajas, nawabs and intellectuals. This was the culmination of transfer of control of much of India from the British East India Company to The Crown.
We trust that the present occasion
may tend to unite in bonds of close
affection ourselves and our subjects;
that from the highest to the humblest,
all may feel that under our rule the
great principles of liberty, equity,
and justice are secured to them; and
to promote their happiness, to add to
their prosperity, and advance their
welfare, are the ever present aims and
objects of our Empire.
The Empress of India Medal to commemorate the Proclamation of the Queen as Empress of India was struck and distributed to the honoured guests, and Ramanath Tagore was made a Maharaja by Lord Lytton, viceroy of India.
It was at this glittering durbar that Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi, wearing "homespun spotless white khadi" rose to read a citation on behalf of the grass roots native political organization, the Poona Sarvajanik Sabha, which organization presaged the later rise of the Indian National Congress. Joshi's citation put forth a demand couched in very polite language:
Her Majesty to grant to India the same political and social status as is enjoyed by her British subjects.
The two full weeks of festivities were devised in meticulous detail by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India. It was a dazzling display of pomp, power and split second timing. Neither the earlier Delhi Durbar of 1877, nor the later Durbar held there in 1911, could match the pageantry of Lord Curzon’s 1903 festivities. In a few short months at the end of 1902, a deserted plain was transformed into an elaborate tented city, complete with temporary light railway to bring crowds of spectators out from Delhi, a post office with its own stamp, telephone and telegraphic facilities, a variety of stores, a Police force with specially designed uniform, hospital, magistrate’s court and complex sanitation, drainage and electric light installations. Souvenir guide books were sold and maps of the camping ground distributed. Marketing opportunities were craftily exploited. A special Delhi Durbar Medal was struck, firework displays, exhibitions and glamorous dances held.
Edward VII, to Curzon’s disappointment, did not attend but sent his brother, the Duke of Connaught who arrived with a mass of dignitaries by train from Bombay just as Curzon and his government came in the other direction from Calcutta. The assembly awaiting them displayed possibly the greatest collection of jewels to be seen in one place. Each of the Indian princes was adorned with the most spectacular of his gems from the collections of centuries. Maharajahs came with great retinues from all over India, many of them meeting for the first time while the massed ranks of the Indian armies, under their Commander-in-Chief Lord Kitchener, paraded, played their bands and restrained the crowds of common people.
On the first day, the Curzons entered the area of festivities, together with the maharajahs, riding on elephants, some with huge gold candelabras stuck on their tusks. The durbar ceremony itself fell on New Year's Day and was followed by days of polo and other sports, dinners, balls, military reviews, bands, and exhibitions. The world’s press dispatched their best journalists, artists and photographers to cover proceedings. The popularity of movie footage of the event, shown in makeshift cinemas throughout India, is often credited with having launched the country’s early film industry.
The India Post issued a set of two commemorative souvenir sheets with special cancellation struck on 1 January 1903 – 12 noon, a much sought after item for the stamp collectors today.
The event culminated in a grand coronation ball attended only by the highest ranking guests, all reigned over by Lord Curzon and more so by the stunning Lady Curzon in her glittering jewels and regal peacock gown.
On 22 March 1911, a royal proclamation announced that the Durbar would be held in December to commemorate the coronation in Britain a few months earlier of George V and Mary of Teck and allow their proclamation as Emperor and Empress of India. Practically every ruling prince and nobleman in India, plus thousands of landed gentry and other persons of note, attended to pay obeisance to their sovereigns.
The official ceremonies lasted from 7 December to 16 December, with the Durbar itself occurring on Tuesday, 12 December. The royal couple arrived at Coronation Park in their Coronation robes, the King-Emperor wearing the Imperial Crown of India with eight arches, containing 6170 exquisitely cut diamonds, and covered with sapphires, emeralds and rubies, with a velvet and miniver cap all weighing 34.05 ounces (965 g). They received homage from the native princes – including one woman, the Begum of Bhopal – at the shamiana (ceremonial tent); controversy ensued when the Gaekwar of Baroda, Maharajah (Emperor) Sayajirao III, approached the royal couple without his jewellery on, and after a simple bow turned his back to them when leaving. His action was interpreted at the time as a sign of dissent to British rule. Afterwards, the royal couple ascended to the domed royal pavilion, where the King-Emperor announced the move of India's capital from Calcutta to Delhi. The annulment of the Partition of Bengal was also announced during the ceremony.
The day after, on 13 December, the royal couple made a darshan (an appearance) at the jharoka (balcony window) of Red Fort, to receive half a million or more of the common people who had come to greet them, a custom which was started by Shahjahan. Then on 14 December the King-Emperor presided over a military parade of 50,000 troops.
A Delhi Herald of Arms Extraordinary and an Assistant Herald were appointed for the 1911 Durbar (Brigadier-General William Peyton and Captain the Hon. Malik Mohammed Umar Hayat Khan), but their duties were more ceremonial than heraldic.
Twenty-six thousand eight hundred (26,800) Delhi Durbar Medals in silver were awarded to the men and officers of the British and Indian Armies who participated in the 1911 event. A further two hundred were struck in gold, a hundred of which were awarded to Indian princely rulers and the highest ranking government officers.
A feature film of the event titled With Our King and Queen Through India (1912) – also known as The Durbar in Delhi – was filmed in the early color process Kinemacolor and released on 2 February 1912.
Generally the Durbar achieved its purpose of cementing support for British rule among the native princes, as was demonstrated by the support given during the First World War.
Today Coronation Park is a jealously guarded open space, whose emptiness can come as somewhat of a shock after the dense traffic and crowded shanty towns of northern Delhi’s urban sprawl. It is mostly overgrown, neglected and locked. The Park is sometimes used for big religious festivals and municipal conventions. The thrones used by King George V and Queen Mary are on display at Marble Hall Gallery and Museum at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
While Edward VIII abdicated in December 1936 before his coronation, it was initially envisaged that his successor George VI would ultimately visit India and have his own Durbar. The Indian National Congress passed a motion weeks after his accession calling for a boycott of any such visit, and in February 1937 Communist MP Willie Gallacher decried expenditure on such festivities in a country of such poverty. The King's Speech of October 1937 included "I am looking forward with interest and pleasure to the time when it will be possible for Me to visit My Indian Empire"; however, the onset of World War II and the movement towards Indian independence meant this visit never happened.
|chapter-url=missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 1937-02-08. col. 8–9.
|chapter-url=missing title (help). Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Lords. 1937-10-26. col. 1–4.
The 1911 Delhi Durbar was held in December 1911 following the coronation in London in June of that year of King George V and Queen Mary. The King and Queen travelled to Delhi for the Durbar. For the occasion, the statutory limits of the membership of the Order of the Star of India and the Order of the Indian Empire were increased and many appointments were made to these and other orders. These honours were published in a supplement to the London Gazette dated 8 December 1911.In the lists below, names of recipients of honours are shown as they were styled before their new honours. Archaic transliterations of personal and place names are retained as shown in the London Gazette. Similarly, place names are given as shown in the Gazette, e.g. Madras (now Chennai), Bombay (now Mumbai), etc. The term "India" refers to British India as it was in 1911, comprising territories which are now the nations of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar.Coronation Park, Delhi
Coronation Park is a park located on Burari Road near Nirankari Sarovar in Delhi, India. The park is sometimes referred to as the Coronation Memorial; it was the venue of the Delhi Durbar of 1877 when Queen Victoria was proclaimed the Empress of India. Later it was used to celebrate the accession of King Edward VII in 1903, and, finally, it was here that the Durbar commemorating the coronation of King George V as Emperor of India took place on 12 December 1911, subsequent to his coronation at Westminster Abbey in June 1911. This last celebration had all the princely states in attendance. The decision to hold the Coronation Durbars in Delhi at the vast open ground at Coronation Park was a move to emphasise the historical significance of Delhi as the former capital of the Mughal Empire.Also, Coronation Park has the largest and tallest statue of King George V. The statue was moved here in the mid-1960s from a site opposite India Gate in the centre of New Delhi. It is opposite the Obelisk called the Coronation Memorial, which commemorates the 1911 Durbar, when George V laid the foundation stone for the new capital city of New Delhi.Cullinan Diamond
The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g), discovered at the Premier No. 2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905. It was named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine's chairman.
In April 1905, the Cullinan was put on sale in London, but despite considerable interest, it was still unsold after two years. In 1907 the Transvaal Colony government bought the Cullinan and presented it to King Edward VII on his 66th birthday.
Cullinan produced stones of various cuts and sizes, the largest of which is named Cullinan I or the Great Star of Africa, and at 530.4 carats (106.08 g) it is the largest clear cut diamond in the world. Cullinan I is mounted in the head of the Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross. The second-largest is Cullinan II or the Second Star of Africa, weighing 317.4 carats (63.48 g), mounted in the Imperial State Crown. Both diamonds are part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
Seven other major diamonds, weighing a total of 208.29 carats (41.66 g), are privately owned by Queen Elizabeth II, who inherited them from her grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1953. The Queen also owns minor brilliants and a set of unpolished fragments.Delhi Durbar Medal (1903)
Delhi Durbar Medals were instituted to by Great Britain to commemorate each Delhi Durbar where the new Emperor of India was proclaimed, in 1903 for Edward VII, and in 1911 for George V. On both occasions the medals, one and a half inches in diameter, were awarded in both gold and silver and worn on the left chest suspended from a ribbon one and a quarter inches wide.Delhi Durbar Medal (1911)
Delhi Durbar Medals were instituted to by Great Britain to commemorate each Delhi Durbar where the new Emperor of India was proclaimed, in 1903 for Edward VII, and in 1911 for George V. On both occasions the medals, one and a half inches in diameter, were awarded in both gold and silver and worn on the left chest suspended from a ribbon one and a quarter inches wide.Delhi Herald Extraordinary
Delhi Herald of Arms Extraordinary was a British officer of arms whose office was created in 1911 for the Delhi Durbar. Though an officer of the crown, Delhi Herald Extraordinary was not a member of the corporation of the College of Arms in London and his duties were more ceremonial than heraldic.At the time the office was created in 1911, Brigadier-General William Peyton was appointed Delhi Herald of Arms Extraordinary, while Captain the Hon. Malik Umar Hayat Khan was made Assistant Herald. Later heraldic officers with reference to India were not appointed.Empress of India Medal
The Empress of India Medal, also referred to as KIH Medal, was a commemorative medal awarded to mark the occasion of the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India in 1877. It was the first wearable medal issued to mark a commemorative occasion within the British Empire. The medal was awarded in gold to Indian princes or senior officials and in silver to select British and Indian military officers and civilians, as well as one soldier from each British and Indian regiments serving in India at the time of the proclamation celebrations of the 1877 Delhi Durbar.Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi
Ganesh Vasudeo Joshi (9 apri1828 – 25 July 1880) was a lawyer, social reformer, and political activist. He was a founding member of Poona Sarvajanik Sabha. He was also called Sarvajanik Kaka with affectionate humour.
He was a social activist in Pune when Maharashtrian revival began, and he was the elderly guiding philosopher when Tilak and Agarkar's generation gave impetus to Indian independence struggle. Joshi also represented Vasudev Balwant Phadke as his lawyer in Phadke's trial.Joshi had a daughter who was married to Gopal Krishna Gokhale.At the Delhi Durbar of 1877, wearing "homespun spotless white khadi" Joshi rose to ask of the viceroy of India (then the 1st Earl of Lytton), that Her Majesty the Queen might:
Grant to India the same political and social status as is enjoyed by her British subjects.
With this demand, it can be said that the campaign for a free India was formally launched, which was the beginning of a great transformation for India.Joshi died on 25 July 1880 due to heart trouble.Imperial Crown of India
The Imperial Crown of India is the crown used by King George V in his capacity as Emperor of India at the Delhi Durbar of 1911.Indraprastham (film)
Indraprastham is 1996 India Malayalam language political thriller film directed by Haridas, starring Mammootty, Vikram, Simran And Prakash Raj Are in the lead roles. The movie was dubbed into Tamil as Delhi Durbar and Telugu as Indraprastham.Jharokha Darshan
Jharokha Darshan was a daily practice of addressing the public audience (darshan) at the balcony (jharokha) at the forts and palaces of medieval kings in India. It was an essential and direct way of communicating face-to-face with the public, and was a practice which was adopted by the Mughal emperors. The balcony appearance in the name of Jharokha Darshan also spelled jharokha-i darshan was adopted by the 16th-century Mughal Emperor Akbar, even though it was contrary to Islamic injunctions. Earlier, Akbar's father Emperor Humayun had also adopted this Hindu practice of appearing before his subjects at the jharokha to hear their public grievances.Darshan is a Sanskrit word which means "sight" and "beholding" (also means: "the viewing of an idol or a saint") which was adopted by Mughals for their daily appearance before their subjects. This also showed a Hindu influence, It was first practiced by Humayun before Akbar adopted it as a practice at sunrise. Jharokha is an easterly facing "ornate bay-window", canopied, throne-balcony, the "balcony for viewing" (an oriel window projecting out of the wall) provided in every palace or fort where the kings or emperors resided during their reign. Its architecture served not only the basic need for lighting and ventilation but also attained a divine concept during the reign of Mughals. The jharokha appearances by the Mughals have been depicted by many paintings.Giving Jharokha Darshan from this jharokha was a daily feature. This tradition was also continued by rulers who followed Akbar (r. 1556–1605 CE). Jahangir (r. 1605–27 CE) and Shah Jahan (r. 1628–58 CE) also appeared before their subjects punctiliously. However, this ancient practice was discontinued by Aurangzeb during his 11th year of reign as he considered it a non-Islamic practice, a form of idol worship. In Agra Fort and Red Fort, the jharokha faces the Yamuna and the emperor would stand alone on the jharokha to greet his subjects.Mughal emperors during their visits outside their capital used to give Jharokha Darshan from their portable wooden house known as Do-Ashiayana Manzil.
During the Delhi Durbar held in Delhi on 12 December 1911, King George V and his consort, Queen Mary, made a grand appearance at the jharokha of the Red Fort to give a "darshan" to 500,000 common people.King George V Coronation Medal
The King George V Coronation Medal was a commemorative medal instituted in 1911 to celebrate the coronation of King George V, that took place on 22 June 1911.Kingsway Camp
Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar (GTB Nagar), since 1970, is a historic area located in North Delhi, near Civil Lines and Delhi University. It starts from Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar (GTB) intersection, and has residential areas like Hudson Lines and Outram Lines. Neighboring localities include Dhaka Village, Mukherjee Nagar and Hakikat Nagar. The foundation of the new capital of British India, New Delhi, was laid at Coronation Park by King George V in December, 1911, making this area historically significant.
Originally named after Kingsway, an avenue which was built as a precursor to the construction of residence of the Viceroy of India, after the Delhi Durbar of 1911, though its location was finally shifted to the Raisina Hill, its present location, as was the road titled Kingsway, now known as Rajpath. The area stretched over twenty-five square miles from banks of Yamuna River in the east to Shalimar Bagh in the west. Post independence in 1947, it became the venue of the largest refugee camp in Delhi, housing 3,00,000 refugees. Today, it is posh residential locality, with a large number of students residing in the area owing to its proximity to the Delhi University; it is serviced by the GTB Nagar underground station of Delhi Metro yellow line and also serving the nearby areas of Mukherji Nagar, Nirankari Colony, Vijay Nagar, etc.Lady Curzon's peacock dress
Lady Curzon's peacock dress was a gown made of gold and silver thread designed by Jean-Philippe Worth for Mary Curzon, Baroness Curzon of Kedleston to celebrate the 1902 Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra at the second Delhi Durbar in 1903.
The gown was assembled from panels of chiffon that had been embroidered and embellished by Delhi and Agra craftsmen using the zardozi (gold wire weaving) method. It was then shipped to Paris, where the House of Worth styled the dress with a long train edged with white chiffon roses. The worked panels were overlapping peacock feathers that had a blue/green beetle wing at the center. Over time, the metal thread in the dress has tarnished but the beetle wings have not lost their luster.
The Viceroy, Lord Curzon, organized the second Delhi Durbar in 1903 to celebrate the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII, "the grandest pageant in history", which created a tremendous sensation. The dress was featured in a Chicago Tribune article because Lady Curzon was from Chicago. State portraits were ordered from the artist William Logsdail, but Lady Curzon's portrait was completed in 1909 after her death in 1906. The peacock dress is preserved, together with the Logsdail portrait, at Kedleston Hall.
Lady Curzon was instrumental in promoting the use of Indian embroidery in Western fashion, and many of her friends ordered gowns from Worth using such decorations, though they generally used much less metal threadwork which weighed her dress down. According to its entry at Kedleston Hall, the peacock gown weighs 10 pounds. Another of her embroidered court dresses, assembled by the House of Worth in 1903, is on display at the Fashion Museum, Bath.Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee Medal
The Golden Jubilee Medal was instituted in 1887 by Royal Warrant as a British decoration to be awarded to participants of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee celebrations.Sao Kawng Kiao Intaleng
Sao Kawng Kiao Intaleng succeeded his brother to become the 53rd ruler (Sawbwa) of the Shan state of Kengtung in 1895. He, his first wife, and his sister, Princess Tip Htila, all attended the Delhi Durbar in 1903 in a party of Shan princes guided by J. G. Scott. After this journey, in 1905, he built a new palace in Imperial Indian style at his capital, Kengtung. He was a popular and capable ruler, and abolished domestic slavery in the state. He died in 1935.
The Kengtung State Chronicle lists his six wives and nineteen children. The politician and scholar Sao Sāimöng was one of his sons.The Faraway Drums
The Faraway Drums is a 1981 novel written by Australian author Jon Cleary about an American journalist and British intelligence officer who try to stop the assassination of King George V at the 1911 Delhi Durbar. Film rights were sold but abandoned after it was realised how much an adaptation would cost.Tip Htila
Sao Nang Tip Htila was a Princess of Shan State, sister of the 52nd Saopha (ruling prince) of the Shan state of Kengtung, and also of the 53rd Saopha, Kawng Kiao Intaleng. Along with Kawng Kiao Intaleng she attended the Delhi Durbar in 1903, in celebration of the coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. She was a shrewd and powerful businesswoman, involved in sales of elephants and motor cars, and later in teak extraction and road-building.
Tip Htila divorced her first husband, who was ruler of the Shan State of Kenghkam, and outlived her second husband. According to Maurice Collis, who met her in her old age, "in her day she must have been rash, magnificent, as bold as a lion".
She was indeed very energetic in her youth, which sometimes got her into trouble with her father.With Our King and Queen Through India
With Our King and Queen Through India (1912) is a British documentary. The film is silent and made in the Kinemacolor additive color process.
The film records the 12 December 1911 celebrations in India which marked the coronation of George V and Mary of Teck and their proclamation as Emperor and Empress of India. The film is often referred to as The Delhi Durbar or The Durbar at Delhi. Although it is commonly referred to as a single film, it is more accurate to think of it as a set of films documenting the royal visit to India in December 1911, with the Durbar ceremony as the centrepiece. Different showings of With Our King and Queen Through India would be made up of different sets of the films, so that the show (a more accurate concept) was exhibited in several different lengths. Today only two reels survive, one showing a review of troops after the main ceremony and the other a procession in Calcutta from the end of the royal tour.