Friday, September 12, 2008

Fading glory

He was the only one to visit the 'Jewel in the Crown' during his reign as monarch. Titled 'King of the United Kingdom, Emperor of India', George V visited India twice, once when he was still the Prince of Wales and later, as the ruler of the British dominions. Though he was not a great one for travelling, India appears to have held a fascination for him, judging from his repeated visits. The second visit was timed to coincide with the 3rd Delhi Durbar, a ritual commemorating the ascension of a new ruler to the throne. Neither his grandmother Queen Victoria, nor his father, King Edward, had been present at the Delhi Durbar held in their honour; George V not only graced the occasion, but also was given a new crown; one so heavy that the King's head hurt.

This statue was probably unveiled at around the same time as the 3rd Delhi Durbar, sometime in 1912/13. I can only guess at that, because there seems to be no record of the statue having been installed. On the pedestal itself, the inscriptions have faded out, so there is nothing to be gained from getting very close to the statue, either. In some ways, we are lucky that it is still around: it is obviously not getting much attention despite being very close to the seat of government, so the inference is that it is being allowed to go to seed.

It has caught up with the times; I had mentioned (here and here) how some of the newer statues in Chennai don't seem to have any information about them; these days, the King Emperor has also joined that list!


eyefry said...

This is my first time here. I've been reading the blog post to post for the past half an hour, and I absolutely love it! I can easily see this turning into a book some day! Just thought I'd stop and drop a line. Cheers.

Shantaram said...

>> Eyefry>> Thank you for the time, glad that you enjoyed your visit! Believe I've seen your comments on Samanth's blog, sometime...