Ram Katha Park: Renamed As Queen Heo Hwang-ok Memorial Park
On the banks of the Sarayu in Ayodhya, the Ram Katha Park has been renovated which will be renamed as Queen Heo Hwang-ok memorial park. The Korean queen is believed to have had Indian roots.
- In 2000, India and South Korea signed an agreement to develop Ayodhya and Gimhae as sister cities.
- Earlier, in March 2021 Indian Defence Minister and his South Korean counterpart inaugurated the India-Korea Friendship Park in a ceremony at the Delhi Cantonment.
- 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 (Kosala), a region that extended from present-day UP to Odisha.
- The memorial park now comprises Queen and King pavilions with their busts in place, and a pond to represent Princess Suriratna’s journey.
- Her story is described in Samguk Yusa (Memorabilia of Three Kingdoms).
- It is a 13th-century collection of legends, folktales and history of Korea’s three kingdoms — Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla — and some other regions.
- In 48 BC, the princess travelled to Korea from the ancient land of ‘Ayuta’ and married Kim Suro, founder and King of Geumgwan Gaya in south-eastern Korea.
- There is no consensus among historians on the location of ‘Ayuta’ as some historians believe that the princess could actually be from Thailand ’s Ayutthaya kingdom.
- While in the popular imagination, it is associated with Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, there is no Indian account of the legend.