Just an introduction. What the internet says about the Durbar.
On New year's day 1903, Edward the VII was declared Emperor of India. The occasion was marked by a grand ceremony held at the Delhi Durbar - a spectacular and elaborate festival organised by the British government. The Durbar was intended to highlight the supposed glory of the monarchy and its Empire. The festivities involved an enormous procession which included a line of Indian princes riding on jewelled elephants.
The durbar ceremony itself fell on New Year's day and was followed by days of polo and other sports, dinners, balls, military reviews, bands, and exhibitions. The world’s press despatched their best journalists, artists and photographers to cover proceedings. The popularity of movie footage of the event, shown in makeshift cinemas throughout India, is often credited with having launched the country’s early film industry. (Wikipedia)
The British considered a Durbar a distinctly Indian idea, exemplifying the Indian love of fanfare and ceremonial. In fact, a Durbar is no different from a Coronation or Investiture and such ceremonies are universal. For who in the world does not like a little tamasha or fanfare and ceremony with a free banquet or two thrown in. Durbars in India were traditionally held to celebrate the accession to the throne of a King or the marriage of a Prince and similar milestones. So, the 1903Durbar, held on New Year's Day, was to proclaim the accession of King Edward VII. It was intended both as a celebration and as a reinforcement of the idea of Empire and of India's place in it.