The Two Giants from Kashmir
The Kashmir giants were the spectacle that took all the attention of the crowd. One of the Kashmir giants had a stature of 7’9″ (2.36m) tall. And the other giant had a height of 7’4″ (2.23m). As per the sources, they were twin brothers.
The heads and shoulders of these two Kashmir giants stood high up to create an outstanding impression at the Durbar. These giants were also elite riflemen who dedicated their lives to the service of their King.
These Kashmiri brothers were originally from a place named Balmokand. The place is still not on records, as the name might have changed over a century and more.
The brothers headed to the Durbar with spears, maces, matchlocks, and even hand grenades. They seemed like they were prepared for any situation, to protect their king at all costs. Each contingent at the event was headed by one elephant, and the king had his bodyguards walking on either side.
Their Fame Spreads Wide
The international journalists and photographers gathered for the Durbar were also fascinated by these giants. You can imagine the amount of impression that they might have created back in 1903. These giants made the King of Kashmir famous around the globe.
The Brisbane Courier printed an article in Australia in February 1903 that had the title, “The Retinue of the Ruler of Kashmir.” An article was dedicated to the two giants who were the guardsmen and servicemen of the ruler of Jammu & Kashmir.
One of the American travelers and a photographer took slightly more interest, taking photos with these giants. The name of this American traveler was James Ricalton. In the pictures, Ricalton’s top line of the head doesn’t even seem to reach the chest of the shorter giant amongst the two.
The photographers James Ricalton and George Rose headed out to Kashmir to take more pictures of these Kashmir giants. There was a photo in which the largest giant was compared to the shortest dwarf, to see the difference. Ricalton was also in the photo to create a hierarchy pose.
The King of Jammu and Kashmir brought some devil dancers from Ladakh and artifacts of Kashmir, but his guardsmen were the center of attention. And, you can imagine the amount of threat the enemies would feel with two giants protecting the King of Jammu and Kashmir.
Hence, this was the power and strength statement that the King wanted to showcase in the Durbar. The British representatives were also awestruck by this majestic appeal of the Indian King.