The two Kashmir Giants posing with the American photographer James Ricalton, 1903

The 1903 Durbar was held in Delhi to celebrate the succession of the British monarch King Edward VII (the great-grandfather of the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II) as the Emperor of India.

The Delhi Durbar was organized by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. The original plan was for Edward to come to India for a special coronation ceremony, but when the king refused (he was clearly less interested in India than Victoria), Curzon decided to hold a huge spectacle instead. did.

After two years of planning, the celebrations began on 29 December 1902 with a grand parade of elephants in the streets. Guests included a wide range of Indian princes and maharajas, with the Duke of Connaught representing the British royal family.

The actual court was held on New Year's Day, 1903, on a large ground outside Delhi and was intended to highlight the perceived glory of the monarchy and its empire.

The gathering displayed possibly the largest collection of jewelry ever seen in one place. Each of the Indian princes was adorned with their most splendid gems from the collection of centuries.

The Maharaja came with great acolytes from all over India, many of them met for the first time, while the mass of the Indian armies, under his Commander-in-Chief Lord Kitchener, paraded, his bands were played, and masses of laymen controlled.

On the first day, Curzon entered the festival arena, accompanied by the Maharaja riding on elephants, some with huge gold candles affixed to their teeth. But nothing creates the effect of having two giant guards in your squad.

The Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, the Maharaja brought with him two of the tallest men (it seems in the whole world) from Kashmir.

One of the giants was 7'9" tall (2.36 m), while the "younger" was only 7'4" tall (2.23 m) and according to various sources they were actually twin brothers. He made quite an impression in the court as he literally stood head and shoulders above the rest. The brothers were known to be two Kashmir veterans and were elite riflemen in the service of the Maharaja.

The event was attended by international journalists and photographers, one of them was American traveler and photographer James Rickleton, who managed to get some photographs with the two veterans from Kashmir. We don't know how tall Rickleton was, but judging by his pictures, he certainly loved posing with the two legends of Kashmir.

The Brisbane Courier, published in February 1903, had an article titled "The Retinue of the Ruler of Kashmir in a Good Detachment of Cuirassiers and a Great Giant". Maybe the reporter didn't see the other giant.

One of the original captions claims that the Kashmiri brothers originally belonged to a place called "Balmokand". Unfortunately, we cannot locate this place in Kashmir, maybe the name has changed or someone got it wrong.

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