A Mega Research Project of Ayodhya Research Institute
Exploring the Travel Route of Queen Ho: From Ayodhya to kimhae in Korea
A study, based on creating a cultural bridge between India and Korea and enriches the heritage of both the countries
Indiais a country which, since its birth, has a rich culture which is enriched with each passing day. But to understand its culture in its complete self, we need to explore the historical facts which are hidden in the depths of the different zones of time. And for unveiling these facts, there is a need for exploring the travel route of Queen Ho of Ayodhya inIndia, who was married in Kimhae city inKorea. The exploration will not only create a link between the two countries, but will also enrich their cultures.
According to the po;ular folk lores ofKorea, Queen Huh Wang-Ock was the queen ofKorea, who reached here from Ayodhya around 2000 years ago. Accompanying this princess of Ayodhya, were her brothers and 22 Buddhist monks, who traveled across the sea route in a large boat. Apart from the travelers, the boat had a special stone kept in it. The boat, ferrying the princess and fellow passengers, broke down on the shores near Kimhae city inKorea and with it, the stone also broke down in 6 parts. All the travelers were injured and lay unconscious on the shores.
Interestingly, that night, the prince of Kimhae saw a dream that there are some travelers who are lying unconscious on the bank of the river and amongst them is a 16 year old girl, who would be his wife. In his dream he was told that by marrying this girl, not only he, but even the royal family and his entire kingdom inKorea would prosper for generations to come. The prince then went to the banks the next morning and saw his dream turning into reality. He brought all the travelers to his house and married the princess. Some 40 Kms away from the Kimhae city, he made arrangements for the princess’s brother’s to stay at a fort, built on the mountains. The marriage between the Ayodhyan princess and the Korean prince is said to be the reason behind the spread of Buddhism inKorea, as the princess was a follower of Buddhism herself.
This folk tale is a part of the cultural heritage and sensibilities ofKorea. It may sound strange butKorea, despite being a modern and developed country, still believes that Ayodhya is the mother land of their Queen mother. But ironically Indian scholars and researchers are still unaware about this fact. Even if we leave the national and state circles, the local circles in Ayodhya are themselves unaware of this beautiful fact that can upliftKorea on the international map. It is still a subject untouched and unexplored, with its significance still hidden from the people.
It must be noted here that inIndia, the spread of Buddhism can be credited to several different circumstances, which prevailed at that particular time. After Mahatma Buddha, several kings and emperors too did their bit to spread awareness about Buddhism in their own way. Emperor Asoka left all his princely wealth and happiness for Buddhism and made arrangements for his children to travel across the globe for spreading and preaching the religion. A strong emperor like Kushana, whose empire spread across the North and Central India, was also responsible for spreading Buddhism all the way toMathura, the remains and edicts of which can be found even today.
It is well known that Indian kings and Buddhist monks have been responsible in spreading Buddhism. Hence, on first look we can believe that a princess from Ayodhya did went toKorea. Now the need is to find the answers and then, tie them together to find answer: When did she go? Who sent her? Why was she sent? Who all went with her? What were the cultural, economical and social circumstances of both Ayodhya andKoreaat that time?
There is a need to understand and explore these things in a planned manner. Today, we have all the modern techniques and tools with new and different technology that can help us find these answers. For these answers, our search will take us not only to the experts and scholars inIndiaandKorea, but also the rest of the world, whose valuable advice and support would provide significant inputs. The city ofAyodhyais the city ofLord Shri Ramand is know by his name only. But we all know that even Mahatma Buddha has been associated with the city in some way. By agreeing to this fact, we can open up a new window to cultural relations betweenIndiaandKorea.
The answers and explorations will be found through an expansive research, which is spread across the two countries. The research has been divided into 11 chapters, in which the first chapter will introduce the cultural heritage of Ayodhya. The second chapter will analyze this heritage. These chapters will be important to form the background and need for the research. The third chapter will explore the spread of Buddhism inIndia, while the fourth will see the reasons for this spread. The fifth chapter talks of the three sects of Buddhism and their inter relations. The sixth chapter will add to this by also exploring the different Buddhist travelers inIndiaand the seventh will see travelers going out ofIndia. The eighth chapter will explore the birth of Buddhism inKorea, its history and its development. The ninth and tenth chapters will be the significant chapters for the research, which will relate to the arrival of Queen Ho inKoreaand changes thereafter.
The contribution of Queen Ho in enriching the history and culture of Ayodhya would be studied. In this course, the travel route of Queen Ho from Ayodhya in India to Kimhae in Korea would be followed and all the stories, folk lores, beliefs and facts which are spread across the way through songs and other art forms and even verses, would be collected together to present in the research, which will be important for both India and Ayodhya.
The main aim of every research is the conclusion. Here too, this research will be an eye opened for several unexplored facts- The development of Buddhism in Ayodhya, the relations between Ayodhya and Korea in the last 5000 year, and also a new phase of economical and cultural tourism and relations between the two countries.
The research will take literature from Sankrit, Paali, Prakit, Korean, Hindi and English languages, in account and for support. The silk route, sea route and Himalayan route will also be explored extensively as they are closely associated. Along with these, the foreign policy, economical policy, cultural and tourism policies of both the countries will also be studied. The format for the research will involve using questionnaire for more and accurate information. The libraries of bothIndiaandKoreawould be explored for facts and even libraries and research institutes in countriesTibbet,ChinaandJapanwill also be taken into consideration.
The research will also try to take support from those scholars who have immense knowledge of such subjects. An innovative experiment would also be done as a part of the research, where travel by the water route would be undertaken from the banks of Saryu in Ayodhya to explore the Queen’s route. This must be noted here that in Ballia district of Eastern Uttar Pradesh,GhghraRivermeetsGangaand then moves to Kolkata. From Kolkata, even today people travel toKoreafor business by sea. This hints that perhaps Queen Ho may have taken the same route. We will look for all possibilities in this route and explore the banks and the river side towns for enhancing the cultural value of the research.