2000-yr-old link ties Ayodhya, Korea

published on October 24, 2010

Rahul Datta | New Delhi – Daily Pioneer

A visit to monuments like the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar and Red Fort — to name a few — figures prominently on the itinerary of foreign dignitaries when they visit India. However, Ayodhya — in the news nowadays for altogether different reasons — tops the “must-see” list of South Korean Defence Minister Kim Tae-young when he lands here on an official visit.

The proposed official visit to New Delhi, likely to take place next year, and then a personal visit to Ayodhya was finalised during his recent meeting with Defence Minister AK Antony. The two Ministers were holding a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers’ conclave in Vietnam last week when Antony invited his Korean counterpart to visit New Delhi.

Antony urged Kim Tae-young to visit some prestigious defence establishments in the country and he readily agreed. While the talks were on, one of Antony’s aides suggested that Kim should also visit Ayodhya and everyone was surprised with this rather unusual proposal.

The Korean delegation was in for a pleasant surprise when the reason for this request was revealed. Ayodhya has a link, dating more than 2,000 years back, with South Korea!

Legend goes that Queen Huh, wife of King Suro who was the founder of Karak kingdom in Korea, was born in Ayodhya. Her father, the then king of Ayodhya, was advised in a dream by supernatural powers that he should marry off his daughter to the Korean king. Subsequently, she was sent there in the middle of the first century AD. In fact, a plaque inscribed at Huh’s monument at the banks of river Saryu narrates this story.

The legend is part of South Korean history and came out in 2001, when the mayors of Ayodhya and Kim-Hae town of South Korea signed a “sister city bond” to commemorate their historical ties. The three-metre-high stone monument weighs more than 7,500 kg. Stone for the monument was brought in from South Korea and it was built according to Korean traditions.

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