TheTwin Fishes Of Ayodhya

This story begins with a legend.

From a 13th century Korean chronicle – Karak Sam Kuk Yusa – of the emergence of six princes from a clutch of golden eggs, descended from the heavens in a gilded casket wrapped in red silk.

The princes miraculously attain adulthood within twelve days. Suro – the eldest – is crowned first king of the Kara dynasty and ruler of Geumgwan Gaya. His siblings take over five other lesser Gaya’s (fiefdoms? ) forming a confederacy under their mighty brother.

In the meantime (approx. 48 AD) thousands of miles South, the king and queen of Ayodhya, (the birth place of Hindu God Rama) simultaneously experience dreams that prophecy their daughter’s betrothal to the the new king across the seas.

The beautiful princess Sri Ratna (precious jewel) duly sets sail on a boat sporting red silk sails, with a couple of her male siblings in attendance, and with a few magic imbued stones to protect her on the long and arduous sea journey to keep her destined date with the great King Suro. No storm or scheming courtiers can prevent their divinely ordained union.

And so it turns out that nearly a tenth of the population of Korea – all citizens with the clan names of Kim and Huh/ Hoon/ Heo from Gimhae and Lee from Incheon – apparently share their gene pool with the descendants of the royal family of Ayodhya! And by default, Rama himself!

The proof? The ‘magic’ stones arranged in a neat pile in the pagoda near the grave site of Queen Heo Hwang-Ok – the former princess ‘Suri Ratna’ – in Gimhae, South Korea.

And a unique (to Korea) stone carving of twin kissing fishes on the gate to King Suro’s tomb nearby, traced back to the heraldry of the kingdom of Awadh! (The name for the region, borrowed from ‘Ayodhya’, and later corrupted to the colonial Oudh.) We did spot several carved fish symbols on doorways across its erstwhile capital Lucknow.

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It seems Indo Korean connections go back eons before their chaebols set up shop in the subcontinent!

A fish story? Shall let you decide.

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While you are here, do check out more posts from Lucknow.

Paula’s Thursday Challenge: Traces Of The Past

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

71 thoughts on “TheTwin Fishes Of Ayodhya

  1. Queen Heo Hwang Ok aka Seembavalam is from Tamil Nadu. And not from Ayodhya. Ayi Dynasty(now called as Kanyakumari) was located in Tamil Nadu . Ayodhya was called as Saketa in the Ancient Period. I request you to please recheck the facts before posting anything.

  2. I’ve been to Korea so many times on business but never heard this story before. Fascinating! Thank you for this additional knowledge. I read in a book on prehistoric China that there was a tribe on the north east coast who spoke a Sanskrit based language. Considering the impossible travel distances in those days it appears there was much more interchange between races than we have imagined.

  3. interesting information, written with passion too. thnx for sharing such info. i was born in Lucknow thus love this place and its all stories, that never ends!! everyday we get to hear something.. its a treasure house. but yes Ayodhya became Oudh or Awadh is very true

  4. Interesting! BTW, some people believe that those twin fishes were actually curved by Nawabs of Awadh, who ruled in 18th and 19th C. If that is true then fishes seen in the ancient monuments of Princess Heo Hwang-ok (허황옥) in China and Korea must have a different story attached to them. There are some individuals who say that twin-fish symbol actually represents the Pandyas, who rulled in Tamil Nadu from 300 BCE up to Delhi Sultane era. According to them, Heo Hwang-ok’s actual name was Seembavalam and she was from Ayuta, Tamil Nadu. Now, by looking at the Korean word 아유타 its really hard for me to say whether it is indicating Ayodhya or Ayuta. So it remains as a fascinating mystery 🙂

  5. The most thrilling fact is that Hindi and Korean language are exactly the same in sentence structure. Especially the dialect used in Kyeongsang province is nearly 100% identical with Hindi. The Kara dynasty was established in the province. So I believe the story is not only a history but also an evidential fact. I am a descendant of the Queen and really proud of it.

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