The Imperial Hotel Museum
The Imperial Hotel Museum also known as the 'Museum Hotel' is located on the Janpath Road and very close to Connaught Place in Central New Delhi. It is easily reachable by Metro link with Patel Chowk or Connaught Place Metro Stations as the nearest links and via local transport. This Museum homes one of the best collections of Imperial British Art based on the Country that has been carefully preserved and nurtured by the owners of this Hotel through the centuries.
The Imperial Hotel dates back to 1934 with the inception of a concept to build an Imperial and Colonial Style Hotel in India by Bloomfield along with the financial support of Rai Bahadur Sardar Narain Singh who was responsible for building the Patiala Tunnel on the orders of the Maharaja of Patiala, Building the city of Dehradun, Mussoorie and Spiritual Centres in Rishikesh and Hardwar. He was also commissioned to build the Doon School, Prince of Wales College, Forest Research Institute of India including all the bridges seen today in the valley. After completion of these prestigious assignments, Shri R. B. S. Singh was also awarded the contract to construct the Road to Koeta and the Sarhand Canal. Pleased with his work, King George V and Empress Queen Mary made a mention of it when they visited Delhi to lay the foundation stone of New Delhi on 12th December 1911. Major Crookshank then awarded a Certificate of Recognition to Shri R. B. S. Singh including the title of 'Rai Sahib' and a 'Durbar Medal' for all impeccable work completed by him.
The Concept to construct the Imperial Hotel was realised and it shaped up beautifully constructed with a pathway fringed with 24 King size Palm Trees that led all visitors to the front porch area imitating the Palm fringed 'Kingsway' now known as 'Raj path' road. This Hotel was inaugurated in 1936 by Lord Willingdon and Lady Willingdon named it 'The Imperial' and honoured the hotel with the Insignia or Symbol of a Lion. The Hotel became an integral part of the Imperial British Rule and serviced numerous Dignitaries and visitors from England and other Countries. The Hotel consumed all the Italian Marbles of two shops and exquisite Deco, Antique furniture marked by wood carvings and dressed with hand knotted Persian Carpets; all dating back to the 17th Century AD were bought to lavishly decorate this Hotel. A restaurant in this Hotel bears the name '1911' to pay tribute to the historical significance of the Hotel when the owner was awarded his title and medal during the Coronation of the Durbar in 1911.
The Imperial Hotel as such is over 73 years old dating back to the time when the Imperial rule of the British Government superseded the Indian Princely States. Since its inception, it has become the hub of the art works of numerous renowned painters and artists with Oil Paintings being the largest collection of all the other objects seen adorned on the Walls and premises of this Hotel. Back in 1930s, this Hotel saw grand ceremonies along 'Queensway' now known as 'Janpath' and 'Kingsway' now called 'Raj path'. It was here where Mahatma Gandhi Ji, Pundit Jawahar Lal Nehru (First Prime Minister of India), Muhammad Jinnah (First President of Pakistan) and Lord Mountbatten would meet up to discuss the future course of India including the Indo-Pak Partition and the construction of Pakistan post Independence in 1947.
Every floor of this Imperial Hotel is dedicated to each artist and hence every inch of the floor corridor and the rooms are adorned by the individual art work of the artist. The Hotel also has three separate Galleries dedicated to a rare collection of masterpieces like a life size oil painting of the Indian Princely Rulers, Lucknow streets and landscapes, Rock-cut Temples in India, Scenic picture of the Kingdom of Mysore, View of the Himalayas, Sketches of Afghanistan and other collections titled the 'Recollections of India' are seen displayed on the walls of these main Art Galleries. The Royal Ballroom also has a massive oil painting named 'The Durbar of the Nawab of Maler Kotla' beautifully painted by eminent artists, Shepard and Bourne.
The Museum Hotel also displays beautiful original paintings of the British Colonial era which include the works of William Simpson, Thomas Daniells, William Daniells, Charles D'Oyly, William Hodges, John Zollony, J. B. Fraser, James Ferguson and Emily Eden to name a few. It also displays a massive collection of Gallantry Awards received by Indian, Burma, Bhutanese, Chinese and Afghanistan Soldiers.
The Museum is opened to all visitors between 1000 hours and 1700 hours on all the days with no entry fee or extra charges.