The year 1911 is considered one of the most prestigious years in the history of Delhi. On December 12, 1911, King George V, also the Emperor of India those days, declared Delhi as the new Capital of India. Three days later, on December 15, the emperor and Queen Mary laid the foundation of New Delhi.
Those times have now been reduced to black and white photographs. But, a part of it can be experienced — at a price.
A five-star hotel in Delhi, The Imperial, established in 1931, has an all-day dining restaurant and bar named 1911. This Raj-era place pays a tribute to the historic milestone that led to the emergence of New Delhi. As you enter the hallway of 1911, it gives you a view of the Delhi Durbar, with paintings and original lithographs that take you back to that era. The restaurant has an 80-feet long panorama titled ‘Hindustan’, a reflection of some of the most memorable moments of that year. It’s done by artist AP Mongin, and produced by a France-based company, Zuber Cie.
“The century between 1911 and 2011 holds immense significance for our hotel,” says Vijay Wanchoo, senior vice president and general manager, The Imperial. The restaurant attempts to showcase what the Delhi Durbar looked like, through paintings and lithographs. The Art Deco interiors are exquisitely matched with British Raj trivia and painting depicting military battalions.
The restaurant’s buffet, too, is called 1911, and that’s not all — it is even priced at R1911 (plus taxes). On Sundays, it is tax-free.
Address: The Imperial, Janpath.
Did you know?
* The Delhi Durbar held in the year 1911 was the only one to be attended by the sovereign — in this case, King George V
* The King wore the Imperial crown of India with eight arches, containing 6,170 exquisitely cut diamonds, and covered in sapphire, emerald and rubies, with a velvet and miniver cap, to the Durbar
* In 1911, the Maharani of Patiala presented an exquisite necklace to Queen Mary on behalf of the ladies of India, to mark the first visit of a British Queen to India.