Thursday, July 26, 2012


King George V was the Emperor of India and the King of United Kingdom & British Dominions from 06 May 1910 to 20 Jan 1936. King George V’s coronation took place on 22 June 1911 at Westminster Abbey. 

 Coronation portrait of King George V, 1911

Later in 1911, the King and Queen travelled to India for the Delhi Durbar, where they were presented to an assembled audience of Indian dignitaries and princes as the Emperor and Empress of India on 12 December 1911. George wore the newly-created Imperial Crown of India at the ceremony, and declared the shifting of the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi. On 15 December, he laid the foundation stone of New Delhi with Queen Mary.

Delhi Durbar 1911, with King Geroge V and Queen Mary seated upon the dias

Calcutta was the capital of India until December 1911 during the British Raj. However, Delhi had served as the political and financial centre of several empires of ancient and Delhi Sultanate, most notably of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857. During the early 1900s, a proposal was made to the British administration to shift the capital of the British Indian Empire (as it was officially called) from Calcutta to Delhi. Unlike Calcutta, which was located on the eastern coast of India, Delhi was located in northern India and the Government of British India felt that it would be easier to administer India from Delhi rather than from Calcutta. Finally, on 12 December 1911, during the Delhi Durbar, King George V, the then Emperor of India, along with Queen Mary, his Consort, made the announcement that the capital of the British Raj was to be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi.

Shifting of British Indian capital was commemorated through issue of a set of 6 British Indian stamps carrying King George V' head with "INAUGURATION OF NEW DELHI" inscribed at the bottom of each of these stamps. These were the First Pictorial Stamps ever of British India.

The stamps carried sketches of different landmarks of Delhi like:

PURANA QILA (a famous fort in Delhi) (Olive-Red/Orange-Brown, 1/4 anna)

WAR MEMORIAL ARCH (the present day 'Amar Jawan Jyoti at Rajpath) (Violet & Green,1/2 anna)

COUNCIL HOUSE (the present day 'Indian Parliament') (Mauve and Chocolate, 1 anna)

VICEROY'S HOUSE (present day's Indian President's official residence) (Green and Blue, 2 annas)

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA SECRETARIAT (Chocolate and Carmine, 3 annas), and


All these stamps were Issued on 9th Feb,1931, and printed by Indian Security Press using Lithography printing technique.

Hope you would have enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed putting it together...