Ahead of Bhoomi pujan, Envoy recalls legend of South Korean queen thought to be from Ayodhya

Ahead of the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi foundation event, South Korean Envoy Shin Bong-kil told reporters on Monday that he was happy to see the conflict over the site come to an end as it has an important link with Seoul.

"In Korea's ancient history book, it's written that a princess from Ayodhya married a Korean king Kim Suro. Earlier, people used to consider it as just a legend. However, the archaeologists discovered Indian artifacts in the tombs of Karak kingdoms," he told ANI.

A BBC report shed further light on this princess. Legend has it that Princess Suriratna, also known as Queen Heo Hwang-ok, had travelled from India to Korea in 48 AD.

A collection of 13th century Korean legends, folktales and historical tales, Samguk yusa says that she had travelled from a distant land called Ayuta and went on to marry King Suro of Geumgwan Gaya at the age of 16.

Some texts suggest that she was the daughter of the King of Ayodhya.

In 2001, a Memorial dedicated to Heo Hwang-ok was inaugurated in Ayodhya and reports suggest that hundreds of South Koreas have travelled to the city every year to pay homage to the queen.

The envoy also spoke about the time in 2018 when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Kim Jung-sook had inaugurated the Queen Huh Memorial at Queen Huh Park in Ayodhya. In November 2018, the South Korean First Lady had been the guest of honour for the grand Deepotsav celebrations at Ayodhya.

A video put out by ANI also shows her, along with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath performing aarti on the bank of the Sarayu river.

Speaking to ANI the Ambassador also announced that South Korea's International Vaccine Institute is planning to establish a foreign office in Delhi as India is a very important partner in the pharma industry.

(With inputs from agencies)

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