Why did the British choose to hold a grand Durbar in Delhi although it was not the capital?
Though Calcutta was the capital of the British, they were aware of the symbolic importance of Delhi. It was the city where the Mughals had ruled. It was the same city that had become the rebel stronghold in the rebellion of 1857, a rebellion that had momentarily threatened the collapse of the British rule in India. It was therefore important to celebrate British power with pomp and show at this very place. So, a grand Durbar to acknowledge Queen Victoria as the Empress of India was held in Delhi, in 1877. Later, in 1911, a Durbar was held in Delhi to celebrate the crowning of King George V. It was at this Durbar that the decision to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi was announced. What these displays did was to show to the people of India the ultimate power and supremacy of the British.