Durbar Memorial, Coronation Park, N. Delhi, India

Durbar Memorial, Coronation Park, Delhi. Commemorating the site of the three grand Delhi Durbars — the Proclamation of Durbar of 1877; the Durbar to announce the accession of Edward VII in 1905; and, most important, the one in 1911 cited on a plaque here, when George V, the new King-Emperor, declared that the capital would be shifted from Kolkata (Calcutta) to Delhi. The obelisk sits in the middle of a large tract of waste ground north of the old city of Delhi. Photographs, caption, and commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or credit the Victorian Web in a print one.]

Left to right: (a) Close view of the obelisk. (b) The splendour of the Durbars (from a picture hanging under a portrait of Queen Victoria at the Imperial Hotel, New Delhi, by kind permission of the hotel). (c) Charles Sargeant Jagger's George V, moved from its original position under a canopy at the Gate of India, Delhi, surveys the currently desolate tract of "Coronation Park."

This was the scene of incredible splendour on those Durbar days. Jan Morris writes:

The tented camps extablished for these occasions, on flat ground north of the old city of Delhi, were almost cities in themselves. They had their own railways, telephone services, paved roads, water-mains, electric power, and the durbar of 1911, whose tents covered ten square miles, and whose railway station had ten platforms, was designed to accommodate 25,000 people — as many as Delhi itself. (217)

"Coronation Park" has long been earmarked for development as a tourist attraction: most recently, the plan was to restore it in time for the 2011 centenary of the last Durbar (see Verma). It already features on some tourist maps. However, it is still in a very forlorn state at the moment (last seen in January 2012). Note: some of the staues listed below may since have been removed for repairs.

Other Statues Removed to Coronation Park

References

Morris, Jan, with Simon Winchester. Stones of Empire: The Buildings of the Raj. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.

Verma, Richi. "No Crowning Glory at Delhi's 100-Yr Bash." Times of India. 20 Oct. 2011. Web. 16 March 2012.


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Last modified 17 March 2012