DURBAR, a term in India for a court or levee, from the Persian durbar.
A durbar may be either a council for administering affairs of state, or a purely ceremonial gathering.
A durbar is the executive council of a native state.
In the latter sense the word has come to be applied to great ceremonial gatherings like Lord Lytton's durbar for the proclamation of the queen empress in India in 1877, or the Delhi durbar of 1903.
He remained in the post, under Lord Crewe as Lord Morley's successor, till 1914; and so made his first official acquaintance with India under the influence of Lord Morley's reforms and Lord Crewe's Durbar changes of 1911.
No official receives a salary; he has certain districts made over to him, and he may get what he can out of them; a certain portion of his gains he is compelled to send to the durbar; and the more he extorts and the more he sends to his superior, the longer his tenure of office is likely to be."
At the durbar on the 22nd of July 1880, Abdur Rahman was officially recognized as amir, granted assistance in arms and money, and promised, in case of unprovoked foreign aggression, such further aid as might be necessary to repel it, provided that he followed British advice in regard to his external relations.
There are three classes of chiefs who form the council or durbar of the king.
These three classes of representatives are divided into two assemblies, the Durbar Shahi or royal assembly, and the Kharwanin Mulkhi or commons.
On November 1, 1858, at a grand durbar held at Allahabad the royal proclamation was published which announced that the queen had assumed the government of India.
The Umballa durbar, at which Shere Ali was recognized as amir of Afghanistan, though in one sense the completion of what Lord Lawrence had begun, owed much of its success to the personal influence of Lord Mayo himself.
On the 1st of January 1877 Queen Victoria was proclaimed empress of India at a durbar of great magnificence, held on the historic "Ridge" overlooking the Mogul capital Delhi.
In March 1885, while the commission was at work, Lord Dufferin was entertaining the amir Abdur Rahman at a durbar at Rawalpindi.
The durbar was interrupted by the news that a Russian general had attacked and routed the Afghan force holding the bridge across the river Kushk, and the incident might possibly have resulted in war between Britain and Russia but for the slight importance that Abdur Rahman attributed to what he termed a border scuffle.
In addition, after making careful inquiry through various commissions, he reformed the systems of education and police, laid down a comprehensive scheme of irrigation, improved the leave rules and the excessive report-writing of the civil service, encouraged the native princes by the formation of the Imperial Cadet Corps and introduced many other reforms. His term of office was also notable for the coronation durbar at Delhi in January 1903, the expedition to Lhasa in 1904, which first unveiled that forbidden city to European gaze, and the partition of Bengal in 1905.
J Y Y explored from Lhasa to the sources of the Brahmaputra and Indus, at the conclusion of the Tibetan mission in 1904, conclusively prove that Mount Everest, which appears from the Tibetan plateau as a single dominating peak, has no rival amongst Himalayan altitudes, whilst the very remarkable investigations made by permission of the Nepal durbar from peaks near Kathmandu in 1903, by Captain Wood, R.E., not only place the Everest group apart from other peaks with which they have been confused by scientists, isolating them in the topographical system of Nepal, but clearly show that there is no one dominating and continuous range indicating a main Himalayan chain which includes both Everest and Kinchinjunga.
At the time of the Delhi Durbar held in January 1903 to celebrate the proclamation of Edward VII.
But the romance of antiquity still lingers around it, and Delhi was selected for the scene of the Imperial Proclamation on the 1st of January 1877, and for the great Durbar held in January 1903 for the proclamation of King Edward VII.
For the Delhi Durbar of 1903 see Stephen Wheeler, Hist.
Of the Delhi Coronation Durbar, compiled from official papers by order of the viceroy of India (London, 1904), which contains numerous portraits and other illustrations.
The mehtar, Shuja-ul-Mulk, who was installed in September 1895, visited the Delhi durbar in January 1903.
They included a new palace and a durbar hall, a bridge across the river and embankment, a pavilion and garden laid out around the site of Baber's tomb overlooking the Chardeh valley; and many other buildings of public utility connected with stud arrangements, the manufacture of small arms and ammunition, and the requirements of what may be termed a wholesale shop under European direction, besides hospitals, dispensaries, bazaars, &c. The new palace is within an entrenchment just outside the city.
The durbar hall, which is a separate building, is 60 yards long by 20 broad, with a painted roof supported by two rows of pillars.