King George V

King George V reign began on 6 May, 1910. He was determined to visit India as soon as possible after his coronation in London (22 June 1911), in order to be crowned King/Emperor of India in Delhi. His advisors considered that an actual coronation ceremony was inappropriate, and suggested that he be presented as the crowned King/Emperor of India and receive the homage of the Indian Princes and rulers while he was seated upon his throne. This took place at a Durbar in Delhi on 12 December 1911. 

The King was passionate about shooting. After the Coronation, he was looking forward to spending as much time as possible big-game shooting in Nepal. During his previous visit to India as Prince of Wales in 1905-1906, his planned shooting trip at the invitation of the Maharaja of Nepal had been cancelled due to an outbreak of cholera in the region. Before his 1911 visit, Maharaja Chandra Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, Prime Minister and ruler of Nepal from 1901-1929, had again invited him for a shoot in the Tarai region. Nepal's political power was held by the Rana family, which had instituted a system of hereditary Prime Ministers in the mid-19th century. The King of Nepal, who only held an honorary position, died a few days before King George V's planned trip, but had insisted before his death that the visit should not be cancelled.

The King travelled by train to Bhikna Thori in India, a few hundred metres from the border with Nepal. He proceeded by motor car to the first day's shooting ground. After about 20 kilometres, they reached the valley of the Rui River, from where they mounted elephants and proceeded into the forest. The king shot his first tiger while it leapt a small stream. That day the party killed four tigers and three rhinoceros. The camp for the next five days was at Sukhibar, on a bend of the Rapti River, with the forest behind. "The river flowed past the camp in a broad and placid stream, forming a splendid foreground to the open jungle on the other bank, while occasionally in the distance a view could be caught of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas." (Historical record of the Imperial visit to India, 1911, p.230).

On 23 December, the camp moved to Kasra, eight miles farther up the river Rapti. The Maharaja's entourage, who were in a separate camp further along the river, numbered 14,000 including 2000 elephant attendants. After Divine Service on Sunday 24 December 1911, the Maharaja presented the King with a collection of over seventy varieties of animals indigenous to Nepal. During the hunting that followed Divine Service on 25 December, nearly 600 elephants formed the "ring". The King shot the largest tiger of the expedition on that day. On the last day of the visit, 28 December, the King reviewed a Brigade of four Nepalese regiments on his way to the hunting ground. The total number of animals killed during the hunting trip was 39 tigers, 18 rhinoceros, and 4 bears. (Historical record of the Imperial visit to India, 1911, p.231-233).