Coronation Durbar Site
Located in northern Delhi, about 20 kilometers from Connaught Place, is the Coronation Memorial. Marked by a sandstone pillar, the site is off the KB Hedgewar Marg, beyond Kingsway camp, and just after crossing the Nirankari colony. This is the place where the British had held Durbars in Delhi in the years 1877, 1903 and 1911.
In 1877, the British held the Durbar here when Queen Victoria was declared the Empress of India where all the major rulers of the country paid homage to the queen. The Durbar was held here again in 1903, when Edward VII ascended the throne. The grandest Durbar was organized during the accession of King George V in 1911. The king himself was present to announce the shift of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi. The foundation stone of the new capital was laid in the neighborhood of this site, which was later removed and laid in the Raisina Hill area. The foundation stone was quietly removed one night and placed in the walls of Secretariat. Though the exact reasons for changing the location and removing the stone secretly at night are not known, it is said that the architects of New Delhi chose the new location because it was unlikely to be affected by the seasonal flooding of the Yamuna River.
Today, the Coronation Durbar Site is also an important destination for it houses many British statues that once stood grandly in the city. The Memorial has the impressive 15 meters high statue of George V attired in the coronation robe. The statue was removed after independence from the domed kiosk or canopy near India Gate to this memorial. There are other statues of Lord Hardinge and Lord Willingdon, apart from a few red sandstone plinths in this historic site.