How many of you have heard of the legend of the Indian Princess from Ayodhya marrying one of the kings in Korea in the first century?
Apparently, a significant portion of the Korean population is from that lineage.
Heo Hwang-ok was a princess who travelled from the ancient kingdom of Ayodhya (in modern day India) to Korea. Information about her comes almost entirely from a few short passages in the Samguk Yusa, an 11th-century Korean chronicle. According to that chronicle, she arrived on a boat and married King Suro of Gaya in the year 48 CE. She was the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya, and is considered an ancestor by several Korean lineages.
According to the Samguk Yusa, Heo’s parents had a dream of King Suro. The dream showed that the king had not yet found a queen. Her father then told her to go to him. She arrived on a boat with gold, silver, and a tea plant. Before marrying the king, she took off her silk trousers and prayed to the mountain spirit.
A tomb believed to be Heo’s lies near that believed to be her husband’s, in Gimhae, South Korea. A pagoda traditionally held to have been brought to Korea on her ship is located near her grave. The Samguk Yusa reports that the pagoda was erected on her ship in order to calm the god of the ocean and allow the ship to pass. The unusual and rough form of this pagoda, unlike any other in Korea, may lend some credence to the account.
The Samguk Yusa also records that a temple was built in honor of Heo and her husband by King Jilji in 452. The temple was called Wanghusa, or “the Queen’s temple.” Since there is no other record of Buddhism having been adopted in 5th-century Gaya, modern scholars have interpreted this as an ancestral shrine rather than a Buddhist temple.
Members of both the Heo lineages (including the clans of Gimhae, Gongam, Yangcheon, Taein, and Hayang) and the Gimhae Kim lineage consider themselves descendants of Heo Hwang-ok and King Suro. Two of the couple’s ten sons chose the mother’s name. The Heo clans trace their origins to them, and regard Heo as the founder of their lines. The Gimhae Kims trace their origin to the other eight sons.
In 2004, two Korean researchers analyzed samples of DNA taken on the site of the two royal tombs, which enabled them to establish the existence of a genetic bond between the Korean ethnic group and certain ethnic groups of India, Malaysia and Thailand. Research continues.
Archeologists discovered a stone with two fish kissing each other, a symbol of the Gaya kingdom that is unique to the Mishra royal family in Ayodhya, India.
Interesting and fascinating story for sure.
But I digress, the part that I found most intriguing here was the use of oriental tops design as the saree blouses.
Not sure about the top picture, but the second picture has an interesting combination that works rather well.
I think I saw it recently somewhere as well. I do have a recollection of seeing pure oriental design elements in a saree not too long ago.