NDTV.COM: Tuesday, September 14, 2004 (Kimhae):
Links between India and Korea are not only modern-day trade links with
commercial names like LG, Hyundai and Samsung making their presence felt
In 48 AD, Queen Suro or Princess Heo Hwang-ok is said to have made a
journey from Lord Ram's birthplace to Korea by sea, carrying a stone which
calmed the waters.
The stone is not found anywhere in Korea and is now a part of crucial
evidence that the princess belonged to the city of Ayodhya in India.
"This stone is only found in India, proof that it came from there to
Korea," said Song Weon Young, city archeologist of Kimhae, a city near the
big industrial town of Pusan.
People of Kimhae were so fascinated by these links that they started
research on it several years ago.
They also ran into a symbol of the Kaya Kingdon with two fish kissing each
other, similar to that of the Mishra royal family in Ayodhya.
And in the mainly Buddhist city of Kimhae, the fact that Ayodhya has now
become the epicentre of a religious divide is an upsetting one
"I am aware of the problem and I feel sorry that Ayodhya is such a
volatile city," said a Kimhae resident.
The Princess is said to have given birth to 10 children, which marked the
beginning of the powerful dynasty of Kimhae Kims. Kim Dae Jung, a former
President also belongs to the same family name.
But even at the centre of these links lies a strong sense of commercial
exchange between Korea and India.
The stone represents Kaya's cultural heritage which did not stay in one
place, and the stone indicates that commercial exchange has been on since
the Queen came from India.
Thousands of miles away from Ayodhya, the stone is a small piece of
history. The people in the city seem quite proud of their links with
India, especially because Queen Suro gave rise to the Kim dynasty, a
powerful family name in the country.