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.

DSC_6455 copy

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

A fish story? Shall let you decide.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Paula’s Thursday Challenge: Traces Of The Past

Posted by

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. Some apparently do Mallee! Try Googling a book titled ‘Voices of Foreign Brides’ by archaeologist Choong Soon Kim.

  1. Interesting history and story of the twin fishes – the carvings are magnificent. Who knew of the Korea connection. Wonderful post ~

  2. Probably it’s a great time click 🙂 and So many thanks to the photographer and author of this post. Great job keep it. Awaiting your next post article.

    1. Ha, that is the extent of my knowledge of anything Korean, barring Samsung, Elgi and Hyundai.

      Such a pleasure to see you here Diana. Have a lovely week ahead!

    1. Not really Meg. Just a de-cluttering of sorts 🙂 The fishes intrigued me, so I went looking for their story. And look what I found!

  3. I love this kind of stuff, the history and the cool stuff. I wonder if these guys have looked into National Geo’s Genome project…it would tell them precisely where they’ve come from…beginning with Africa.

    1. Me too, however far fetched they may sound. The Nat Geo project is really intriguing. Are you a participant?

      1. Yes, got my info back…truly interesting. BUT something went wrong, and I can’t access the nitty-gritty data. I can see the map where my ancestors went…I am a mixed stew of color and culture.

  4. True, pretty common are these fishes on the doorways of many kothis and other buildings. If traced eons back, I feel we all scattered all over the globe will share one or more common threads of ancestry.

      1. Right you are Madhu, I too came to know about this connection recently only. one local daily covered certain tourist attractions in and nearby Lucknow and in one of the features on Ayodhya I read that story and think of it I am in the area for almost all of my life.

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.