Delhi Durbar 1911

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : September 14th, 2022

The Durbar of 1911, better known as the Delhi Durbar 1911, was a historic coronation held at Delhi's Coronation Park by the then British government to celebrate the succession of King George V in an Indian Imperial style. Although the Delhi Durbar - which translates to "court of Delhi" - was held three times in 1877, 1903, and 1911, the most famous is the Delhi Durbar of 1911.

The History of Delhi Durbar 1911

The history and significance of the Delhi Durbar can be traced back to the origin of the British Rule in India, which is located in the displacement of the existing rulers. It has been briefly listed for your recapitulation;

  • The dominant Mughal dynasty ruled over the majority of what is now India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan beginning in the middle of the 16th century. The initial six Mughal rulers, Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb, established Mughal authority over India. However, the peak of its territorial expansion during the rule of Aurangzeb (1618–1707) signaled the beginning of its decline. The imperial system was damaged by political rivalry among Mughal princes, and the British East India Company's rise to prominence as a force of political power was another major setback for the Mughal administration.
  • Several battalions of Indian soldiers serving in the Company's armies started a mutiny in 1857 and symbolically congregated behind the ailing Mughal heir-to-be, the Sufi poet Bahadur Shah Zafar II (1775-1862). The British were eventually not driven from India by this uprising, which the British referred to as the "mutiny" and Nationalists of India as the "first struggle of Indian Independence." The British deported the final Mughal emperor to British Burma's Rangoon, where he died in 1862. In addition, the British Crown enacted the Government of India Act of 1858, dissolving the Company and granting the monarch immediate imperial power over India as a result of the failure of the revolt.
  • The Delhi Durbar was held three times in Delhi, the former capital of the Mughals. The first one was in 1877, followed by the one in 1903, and finally in 1911, as a visual representation of British imperial control. The crowd assembled before royalty, and the hall where they gathered was both referred to during the Mughal era as "darbar." When used in British culture, the phrase referred to a major public event that brought colonizers and colonized peoples together under the patronage of the British monarch. And the formal declaration of Queen Victoria as the Empress of India or 'Qaisar-i-Hind' was the main goal of the Delhi Durbar in 1877.
  • The famous Delhi Durbar of 1911 was organized by the then British government in India to celebrate and commemorate the historic coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, which was held in London in June 1911.

Delhi Durbar 1911 Notes PDF

You can download the Delhi Durbar 1911 PDF from the link provided below-

The Timeline and Important Facts of Delhi Durbar

Knowing the events' chronological order will help you better understand the material in the UPSC syllabus:

  • The Durbar was scheduled on March 22, 1911, in honor of the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary of Teck as the new Emperor and Empress of India, according to a royal decree.
  • Every prince, nobleman, and other notable people at the time visited this Durbar to personally celebrate the occasion and congratulate the new rulers of India since it was so grand. Viceroy of India Lord Hardinge ensured that he made special arrangements for all of these people during the Delhi Durbar in 1911.
  • The 1911 Delhi Durbar, which took place from December 7 to December 16, spanned nine days, with the main ceremony being on December 12. At the ceremony, the King and Queen entered wearing their coronation robes. The imperial Crown of India, which was adorned in different jewels, was worn by the emperor King George V. At the shamiana's ceremonial tent, the native prince and princesses paid the royal couple tribute.
  • The King and Queen of India appeared at the Red Fort's window the following day, on December 13, to meet the more than 500,000 people who had congregated there to show their respect for them.
  • The monarch George V commanded a parade on December 14th that included more than 50,000 military personnel.
  • Finally, 26,800 Indian and British servicemen who took part in the Durbar's events received silver medals on the event's last day.
  • Numerous Indian princely kings and other highly ranked government officials also received 200 more gold medals.

The chapter on Delhi Durbar 1911 UPSC places a great deal of importance on the specifics and the timing.

Controversy at the Delhi Durbar 1911

Among the numerous kings from the Indian princely states invited to the Royal Coronation was Maharaja Sayajirao III, the Gaekwad of Baroda. He went against the rules and arrived at the coronation wearing his stately jewelry and left the coronation spot showing his back after a simple bow to the newly coronated Emperor and Empress. During that time, the Gaekwad of Baroda's actions were considered as his apathy towards British rule.

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FAQs on Delhi Durbar

  • The British held the Delhi Durbar (also known as the "Court of Delhi") at Coronation Park in Delhi, India, to commemorate the accession of an emperor or empress of India. It was conducted thrice, in 1877, 1903, and 1911, at the zenith of the British Empire and is also known as the Imperial Durbar. George V, a monarch, only ever attended the Durbar in 1911.

  • The British organized the Delhi Darbar in 1911.

  • The Delhi Darbar of 1911 was significant because the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary as the Emperor and Empress of India was celebrated.

  • Two durbars were held in Delhi before the historic Delhi Durbar in 1911. The other two durbars were held in 1877 and 1903.

  • The proclamation of Delhi Durbar was the announcement of shifting the British imperial capital in India from Calcutta to Delhi.

  • Lord Hardinge was the Viceroy of India when the Delhi Durbar of 1911 was held.

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