A lot has been written in the past few months about the Delhi Durbar of 1911, a spectacular event, where King George V made the surprise announcement of shifting the Imperial Capital from Calcutta to Delhi.
But now, a new book, 'Delhi Durbar 1911: The Complete Story', by senior journalist Sunil Raman and Rohit Agarwal, a retired army official, gives insight into several hitherto unknown aspects of the royal extravaganza that led to the creation of New Delhi, exactly a hundred years ago.
"While there have been many books about the creation of New Delhi, but none deals with Delhi Durbar in the detail it deserves. The event was full of drama and saw many significant declarations, including the reunification of Bengal," said Rohit Agarwal, who co-authored the book.
The book, spread over 175 pages, is peppered with several rare photographs sourced from private collections in Britain, copies of official documents about the preparations and conduct of the week-long extravaganza, clippings of newspaper stories of the event, etc.
The research for the book was quite an arduous task and the authors spent past several months rummaging through the documents, letters, newspaper files, online libraries and books in trying to discover every minute detail of the royal tamasha. And it goes to the authors' credit that they have been able to gleam some very insightful and amusing nuggets of information about the Durbar.
"Despite our best efforts we could not find any record that could give insights into the Durbar from an Indian point of view," said Agarwal.
But even so, it is a first of kind book on the event that changed the course of the history of Delhi.