Persian for “prince’s court,” the durbar in British India was a grand court ceremonial used to commemorate special occasions involving the monarchy. Three durbars were held in India by the British. They took the form of receptions, balls, parties, and a grand military parade. The first of the Durbars was held to commemorate the bestowing of the title “Queen Empress of India” on Queen Victoria by Parliament at the behest of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. It took place on January 1, 1877, in Delhi and was designed to rally the princes of India to British rule. The second durbar was also held in Delhi when Victoria’s son, Edward VII, was proclaimed “King-Emperor” on January 1, 1903. The third and last of the durbars took place to commemorate the accession of King George V to the throne of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father in 1910. It was marked in India by the durbar held at Delhi in the presence of King George and his wife on December 12, 1911.
   To ensure maximum publicity of the occasion, the rulers of states were excused the payment of succession duties; military and lower-ranked civil servants received bonuses; grants were provided for schools; and, for the first time, officers, men, and reservists of the Indian Army became eligible for the Victoria Cross. Most important, the king himself announced the well-kept secret that the capital of India would be transferred from Calcutta to Delhi and the partition of Bengal of 1905 would be reversed, a new province of Bihar and Orissa would be created, and Assam would once again be under a chief commissioner. The durbar became controversial because these costly administrative moves were announced without consulting Parliament, but the changes were the most important, as they had farreaching consequences.
   See also <>.
    James, Lawrence. Raj: The Making and Unmaking of British India. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1997; - - Wolpert, Stanley. A New History of India New York: Oxford University. Press, 2005.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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  • Durbar — Dur bar, n. [Hind. darb[=a]r, fr. Per dar?[=a]r house, court, hall of audience; dar door, gate + b[=a]r court, assembly.] An audience hall; the court of a native prince; a state levee; a formal reception of native princes, given by the governor… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • durbar — [dʉr′bär΄] n. [Hindi < darbār < Pers, a ruler s court < dar, portal (for IE base see DOOR) + bār, court] Historical in India or Africa, an official reception or audience held by a native prince, or by a British ruler or governor …   English World dictionary

  • Durbar — Darbâr Le darbâr parfois rendu par sa translittération anglaise, durbar est une audience publique donnée par un souverain de l Inde, un empereur moghol, un râja ou tardivement par le vice roi des Indes. Les Grands Moghols donnaient un darbâr… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Durbar — Dụr|bar [auch: ], der od. das; s, s [engl. durbar < Hindi darbār < pers. darbār]: offizieller Empfang bei indischen Fürsten u. bei dem ehemaligen Vizekönig von Indien …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Durbar — Dur|bar der od. das; s, s <über Vermittlung von engl. durbar aus gleichbed. Hindi darbār, dies aus pers. darbār> offizieller Empfang bei indischen Fürsten u. bei dem ehemaligen Vizekönig von Indien …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • durbar — noun Etymology: Hindi & Urda darbār, from Persian, from dar door + bār admission, audience Date: 1609 1. court held by an Indian prince 2. a formal reception held by an Indian prince or an African ruler …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • durbar — /derr bahr/, n. (in India) 1. the court of a native ruler. 2. a public audience or levee held by a native prince or by a British governor or viceroy; an official reception. 3. the hall or place of audience. 4. the audience itself. [1600 10; alter …   Universalium

  • DURBAR —    a ceremonious State reception in India …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • durbar — n. hall or room in the palace of a native prince of India wherein audiences and receptions take place; a state reception or public audience given by a native prince of India or British governor (formerly) …   English contemporary dictionary

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