New Toy Soldiers - Made in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Main Procession - Part 1
What was the Delhi Durbar 1903 / Jun 21st, 2017 12:37 am     A+ | a-
The proceedings opened on December 29, 1902, and the viceroy and his royal guests were received at the train station within the city, and then conducted a parade of elephants through the city streets and then out through a gate. The guests included royals from almost all of the princely states of India, including Maharajahs, Rajahs, Nawabs, and other minor chiefs.

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Station Platform
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Lord and Lady Curzon at the Station, on their elephant
This picture was a main source for me when I made the 4 elephants of the aides-de-camps. They are standing at the Station entrance, waiting for the Curzons' elephant to go by.

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Lord Curzon's elephant
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The Durbar Route

The State Entry and the Elephant Procession was perhaps in itself the most striking and to the Western mind the most impressive spectacle. The flower of Indian Nobility mounted on magnificent elephants resplendent in cloth of gold, with rich saddle cloths laden with priceless embroidery almost sweeping the ground on their side.

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The Maharajas elephants at Queen's Road, outside the train station,
waiting for the Main Procession to begin
Here is where the elephants waited for Curzon's elephant to lead the Procession. They must have been there a while until it began. This was a great spot to take pictures of the elephants, still without their maharajas and standing still, not walking. I have a few shots taken from this particular stage. One in particular was a glass slide that I bought, from the Rewa elephant, that I used for the last elephant I made.
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This is the larger file that I could upload. The original image is way more neat than this. I enclose a detail below. The elephants were standing in the order that they went in each column, right column on the right side of the street, left column on the left, as you'll see in the picture above. Rewa was on the left column, fifth in order. At his side in Quen's Street, before Rewa, was Indore, and after him in the left column was Orchha. The servants that you see closer belong to this last elephant. The guy with the earring, to the left of the elephant clothes, was the one standing outside the howda, to the left of the maharaja. The one by the trunk was one of the guards. Check the elephant picture and you'll see what I'm talking about.
The neatness of this photographs is very inspiring at the time of sculpting

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A detail of the elephant's earrings and clothes

Here and there a trunk waved a fan or curved upwards as if saluting. Howdahs of every pattern were to be seen, high and low, long and short, silvered over or bedizened with gold, balanced on the broad backs, draped in yellow and red, purple and blue and green. Long silver chains depended on either side of the massive heads and made a musical jingle at every step. Men with maces marched alongside in some instances, and attendants held bright-coloured umbrellas over the heads of the Chiefs, who sat in every attitude in their howdahs.

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The Main Procession walking along Queen's Road

Fifty elephants were invited to participate in the Main Procession. But they were Fourty Eight indeed.
The Gaekwar of Baroda could not attend until a couple of days later because of the death of the Maharani, the wife of the later Gaekwar. The elephant of Cutch had to be separated from the rest close to the beginning, because the elephant went mad and didn't follow any orders. Finally, the Maharaja of Udaipur arrived 2 days later because of the illness of his son

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The Procession turning the corner at Queen's Road
towards Elgin Road

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Khas Road, the path that the elephants took to cross the Champ de Mars, the space between the Red Fort and the Jumma Masjid

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All the Retinue elephants, from all the states (166 in total) stood side by side along the side of Elgin Road, in front of the Red Fort, and saluted the Main Procession as the elephants passed. When the head elephants (6 with aides-de camps, 1 for Lord and Lady Curzon and 1 for the Duke and Duchess of Connaught) and the 48 Maharajas turned into Khas Road, the Retinues elephants prepared to follow them in their way through Delhi.
As the head of the elephant procession passed, there came slowly and in duly regulated order the highest nobility of India, in all the glory and pomp that our imaginations have ever pictured. His Highness the Nizam and the Maharaja of Mysore led, the Maharajas of Travancore, and Kashmir coming next, and we were soon deep in admiration at the display of the gold and silver howdahs, sumptuous clothes, richly embroidered, the sheen of jewels, the bright colours of turbans and apparel and the kaleidoscopic effects that were revealed as the procession skirted the Jama Musjid
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The Main Procession beginning their turn around the Jumma Masjid.
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