What happened 100 years ago?
11th December, 1911 – King George V was declared the Emperor of India and on 12th December 1911, he presented himself to the public at the Coronation Ground in Burari Village, Delhi. This ceremony was called ‘Delhi Durbar’. On this occasion, King George declared that the capital of British India be shifted from Calcutta (now Kolkata) to Delhi. 12th December 2011, we complete 100 years of this declaration.
The Ignored truth?
Delhi was treated as a capital since Mahabharta era, when Pandavas had setup their territory in the reign of Khandva Forest and named it as Indrapatta (or Indraprastha). Later, several dynasties came and used Delhi as their capital. Here’s a list:
|circa 2500 BC||Pandavas||Ruled from Indraprastha, the earliest reference of Delhi|
|736-1180||Tomars||Ruled from Lal Kot (now in Mehrauli)|
|1180-1192||Rajputs||Ruled from Qila Rai Pithora (Mehrauli, Lado Sarai area)|
|1206-1290||Slave Dynasty||Ruled from area around Mehrauli|
|1290-1321||Khilji Dynasty||Ruled from area, what we now call Siri (around Siri Fort) in Delhi|
|1321-1398||Tughlaq Dynasty||Ruled from Areas like Tughlaqabad, Jahanpanah (now Begumpur, Sarvpriya Vihar and Tara Apartments etc.) and Ferozabad (or Feroz Shah Kotla). NOTE: Muhammed bin tughlaq took capital from Delhi to Daultabad for some time, but brought it back.|
|1398-1414||Attack by Timur Lung||No Ruler. Period of Chaos|
|1414-1421||Sayyid Dynasty||Ruled from existing establishments of various cities comprising Delhi|
|1451-1526||Lodhi Dynasty||Ruled from existing establishments of various cities comprising Delhi|
|1526-1540||Timurid/Mughal Dynasty||Humayun started Dinpanah at what we now call Old Fort|
|1540-1556||Sur Dynasty||Ruled from Dilli Sher Shahi, around Old Fort of Delhi|
|1556||Hindu ruler – Hemu (Samrat Hemchandra Vikramaditya)||Ruled very small portion of country from vacant fort of Shergarh (now called Old Fort), but removed from throne by Humayun and Mughals came back|
|1556-1857||Mughal Dynasty||Akbar and Jahangir took Capital out of Delhi but Shahjahan bought back to Shahjahanbad and started rule from Red Fort of Delhi.|
|1856-1947||British||After taking last Mughal king out in 1857, British continued to rule from their existing setup in Calcutta. Then King George V, on 12th December 1911, declared to bring the capital back to Delhi.|
We have numerous sites and remains since 7th century showing Delhi as one of the most important cities of India. British just understood the importance a little late and utilized the empty space lying between the other 7 cities of Delhi. The did a unification of cities and restored few old buildings. After the declaration in 1911, it took more than a decade for the capital to actually move in. The Viceroy House (Rashtrapati Bhavan) was commissioned on January 23rd, 1931. Following is the video from the Delhi Durbar of 1911 at the Coronation Ground of Delhi. Rest is up to you to decide.