India since ancient times has shared a part of its cultural heritage with South Korea and has since then forged a budding friendship. Talks between our revered P.M. Narendra Modi and the South Korean President, Moon Jae-In have led to the construction and unveiling of a very proud project, marking the shared culture heritage and friendship that the two countries share called as the “Indo-Korean Friendship Park” in New Delhi which had opened its gates for the public before the lockdown because of COVID-19 was announced on March 25, 2020.

 

What shared culture are we talking about, you ask? 

 

The answer lies in the events that took place almost 2000 years ago, in AD 48 when the Princess of Ayodhya, Princess Suriratna went on a long journey to Korea to meet the Korean King of the Gaya Kingdom, Kim Kim-Suro and ultimately married him to become the cherished Queen of Gaya, Queen Heo-Hwang-Ok. This has also led to several visits of Korean tourists since then, who trace their ancestry to this legendary Indian Princess.

 

Image source: TheKoreaPost

 

This Indo-Korean Friendship Park is also set up as the very first Korean War Memorial in our country which had supported South Korea in the three-year long Korean War fought between South and North Korea in 1950-53 and is situated in the Indian Army Cantonment Area, approximately 6 km away from Indira Gandhi International Airport. It’s construction comes after the recent expansion and beautification project of the Memorial of Queen Heo Hwang-ok, established in 2001 on the west bank of the River Saryu in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

 

Memorial at Ayodhya with Queen’s stately statue.

 

 

MAIN ATTRACTIONS

 

1. A grand traditional Korean-styled Entry Gate

 

2. A magnificent Handshake Artifact bearing the flags of both India and South Korea!

 

3. A larger-than-life statue of Indian General KS Thimayya who had played a very crucial role in ending this war and making both sides sign the Korean Armistice Agreement in July 1953, which had bonded India and South Korea together.

 

4. Information of the ’60 Para Field Ambulance Brigade’ of the Indian Army which had consisted of non-combat soldiers who had skydived into the war zone to help the wounded South Korean soldiers in the Korean War.

 

 

So, even though the legendary Queen is now long gone and the Korean War long finished, the relationship that was forged between our two countries still exists and so we have the princess and the brave Indian Army soldiers that took part in the Korean War, to thank for all the ties that might not have been possible between the two countries we all cherish, if not for them 🙂

 

Rest in peace our Indo-Korean Legendary Queen and Brave Soldiers!

 

 

Are you thrilled at the unveiling of this monumental park ?
Do you want to catch a train/bus to New Delhi right now too 😉 ?
Spill your thoughts in the comments.