Significance of 12th December for Delhi

Delhi has always been of greatest historical significance which dates back thousands of years. The momentous sites in the city have witnessed many significant royal events that have shaped the historical legacy of the sub-continent. Unfortunately few of which are still ignorant to us and stands quietly in one corner serving as the memento from the pages of the past

Do you know the importance of 12th December which changed the fate for our city?

On 12th December 1911, King George V announced Delhi as the National Capital of India, replacing Kolkata at the Coronation Park which is situated near Burari towards Nirankari Colony, 2.5 KMs away from Kingsway Camp in North Delhi

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The site marks the place where the declaration to shift British India’s capital from Calcutta to Delhi was made, and the coronation of King George V as Emperor of India on December 12, 1911, took place

The site was developed as the venue to hold the Durbars, or imperial pageant, in Delhi under the supervision of the British Raj, a concept which was adopted from Mughal rulers by the Britishers. Three Durbars were held by the British monarchy during a period of forty years in the park which was held near a ridge where the Britishers emerged victorious during the Indian rebellion of 1857. In addition, the park also emphasised the grandeur of the British monarchy to the native rulers and the people who attended the Durbars which was celebrated in full décor

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Center for Durbar

In 1877, Queen Victoria was proclaimed the Empress of India at this site and in 1903, the coronation of her son Edward VII was celebrated here. Both occasions called for the summoning of Delhi Durbar, a spectacular show where Nizams of Hyderabad, Gaikwad of Baroda, Begum of Bhopal, Prince of Sikkim/ Burma etc were gratified to greet the new masters.

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Sixty feet tall figure of King George V. Designed by Edwin Lutyens, the statue originally stood in front of India Gate which was brought at this ground in the 60’s.

On 12th December 1911, the 57-acre venue witnessed the third and final Delhi Durbar which was attended by King George V himself. Sitting on a golden throne, under a golden umbrella, the king declared the transfer of “the seat of the Government of India from Calcutta to the ancient capital of Delhi.

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It is said that the National anthem was First sung at this place when Delhi was announced the National capital

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By the way do you know how Kingsway Camp got its name? Because the place serves as the way from where the king passed to reach the Coronation Park

Standing here I realised that Delhi has been the centre of a succession of mighty empires and powerful kingdoms. Numerous ruins and places scattered throughout the territory offer a constant reminder of its history

P.S: Coronation Park Map which is being developed by DDA & INTACH

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