In news– Ayodhya’s Ram Katha Park is to be renamed as Queen Heo Hwang-ok memorial park.
About the memorial park-
- The memorial space located on the banks of the Sarayu in Ayodhya (U.P) has been named after a Korean queen with Indian roots.
- The legend of Queen Heo is inscribed on the stone memorial in Korean and English.
- The monument was built in Korean traditional style, using a 3m high and 7,500 kg heavy stone shipped from Korea.
- The park which surrounds the memorial is colloquially called “Korea Park”.
- The memorial now comprises Queen and King pavilions with their busts in place, and a pond to represent Princess Suriratna’s journey.
- According to the legend, the princess had taken a golden egg to Korea, and the park includes an egg made of granite.
- The Mayors of the City of “Ayodhya” in India and the City of “Gimhae” in South Korea had signed an International “Sister City” bond in March 2001 to formalise the relationship and encourage cultural and mutual development.
- In March 2016, a 38-member South Korean delegation made a proposal to develop the memorial further.
- The two countries had signed an agreement regarding the Queen Suriratna Memorial Project to facilitate upgrade and expansion of the existing monument commemorating Princess Suriratna (Queen Heo Hwang-ok).
About Heo Hwang-ok-
- She was a Korean queen who is believed to have been born Princess Suriratna of Ayodhya, daughter of King Padmasen and Indumati.
- Padmasen ruled the ancient kingdom of Kausala, a region that extended from present-day UP to Odisha.
- Her story is described in Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of Three Kingdoms), a 13th-century collection of legends, folktales and history of Korea’s three kingdoms — Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla.
- In 48 BC, the princess, then 16, travelled to Korea from the ancient land of ‘Ayuta’ and married Kim Suro, founder and King of Geumgwan Gaya in south-eastern Korea.
- She became the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya, believed to be located around modern-day Gimhae city in Southern Gyeongsang province.
Kausala (Kosala) kingdom-
- It is the kingdom of the celebrated personality of Treta Yuga, Raghava Rama.
- Ayodhya was its capital, presently in Ayodhya district, Uttar Pradesh.
- Rama’s sons Lava and Kusha inherited parts of this kingdom.
- Lava ruled from the city called Ayodhya and Kusa from the city called Kushavati.
- A colony of Kosala kings existed in Madhya Pradesh.
- It was called Dakshina Kosala. Rama’s mother Kausalya was from this kingdom.