Statues of King George V in Tamil Nadu - a brief note

King George V Getty images in

No other Indian city has  so many statues of  King George V,  as Chennai (Madras) once had. This city was one of the earliest British settlements, then a fishing village which later after centuries,  emerged as one of the largest Indian cities.   King George V, a descendant of Prince Albert and the Germanic house of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha,  was a popular monarch and during the world war I he had to submit himself  to growing  anti-German sentiment in the English society and changed the family’s name to ''Windsor''.  In the wake of   global economic slump in 1931 the king  actively promoted  the idea of a coalition government among the three major parties in Britain: Conservatives, Labor and Liberals. It shows his depth of knowledge in the nuances of British politics and changing political scenarios.  Keenly interested in prompting the extend of the Empire,  he visited India twice - in 1905 as Prince of Wales and again in 1911 as  a reigning monarch  for the Grand Coronation Durbar, Delhi - often dubbed as the greatest show on Earth. It invited criticism from  freedom fighters and members of the Indian National Congress. It was  a show of pomp and pageantry, a mere waste of money  to prove to the world the supremacy and the power of the British Empire.. a publicity bonanza to promote their Imperial Expansionism.   At the Coronation Durbar rich  Indian Maharajahs and Nawabs  were made to bow before the royal couple - it was just short of falling prostrate before them - the paramount power.

King George and his wife participated in many events  including on the sidelines,  safari - hunting trip to  the jungles of Nepal and India to shoot the wild animal with the help of his retinue.  After his visit, he became a popular king  and several statues came up in the later period as part of memorials or commemoration.  Because of his   earlier visit to Madras Black town was named as George Town during his coronation year 1911.

Statues of King George V  were in the following places of Chennai:  

01. Statue/Bust in Flower Bazaar Police Station: Year and whereabouts unknown. 

Bust of king George V, Chennai.

king George V, Flower bazaar, Chennai.

02. Statue outside Flower Bazaar Police Station: Made by  sculptor Sir Bertram Mackennal; gifted by merchant Kushaldoss Chaturbhujadoss, dating to 1913.

03. Statue in Guindy: Gifted by  contractor T. Namberumal Chetty in 1911; whereabouts unknown.

04. Bust in Chingleput Town:  Gifted by T. Namberumal Chetty in1911; whereabouts unknown.

04. Bust in Panagal Park: Made by sculptor  M.S. Nagappa and unveiled by Sir Mohammed Usman in 1934;  whereabouts unknown. (It is replaced by the statue of Panagal Raja).

05. Statue outside   Chennai harbor: Made by  M.S. Nagappa in  1935; presently in the Govt. museum? 

06. Bust of King George V:  in Council Chamber, now in St George Fort Museum.

King George V statue (bust) in Thanjavur city, TN: 

King George V Thanjavur clock tower park credit: J.Ramakrishna Anand

Above image: This is the bust of king George V located  on the NE corner of the Ranee's clock tower park, close to the old bus stand; the access to the park is on the Gandhiji Road.  As part of Smart city Program the clock tower built in 1833 (major contribution was from the Maratha queen)  during the reign of Serfoji Maharajah is being renovated now. The shabby statue and the pedestal will be cleaned and renovated soon, Presently, the entire park is closed for renovation work including the clock tower. The statue is a gift from late  T.N. Kalidoss, a  Thanjavur based lawyer -  6 May 1935 (Silver Jubilee). The statue is not an impressive one  devoid of a crown on the head and regal regalia. King's moustache and the reseeding and balding head are quite visible  and show his age past 50 years.

I believe it is the only statue of King George V outside Chennai city and Chengalpattu. In a nondescript village Vizhuppanur near SriVilliputhur the statue of the British king was unveiled and the details were not available. Only the plaque is available and the statue is missing. This statue was installed in connection with the Delhi Durbar of 1911(dated 12 December).