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Ayodhya's Global Ties: Korea, Thailand, Indonesia



  Mar 13, 2024

Connections of Ayodhya with Faraway Lands: Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia



Ayodhya, a revered city in India, holds a significant place not only within the country but also in the cultural and historical narratives of countries like Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia. This connection underlines the transnational influence and shared heritage that spans continents, reflecting the ancient world’s interconnectedness.

Korea: A Royal Link

The connection between Ayodhya and Korea traces back to the first century CE, highlighting a matrimonial alliance that had long-lasting implications. A princess from Ayodhya was married to King Suro of the Geumgwan Gaya kingdom, modern-day Korea. This union is celebrated in Korean history, with the princess considered the progenitor of the Karak clan, one of Korea’s largest and most distinguished clans. Annual visits by Korean delegates to Ayodhya, including rituals at the Queen Huh memorial place, signify the enduring connection between these two regions. Despite the absence of this legend in Indian records, over six million Koreans trace their lineage back to Queen Heo, illustrating the profound impact of this historical tie.

Thailand: Cultural and Religious Resonance

In Thailand, the ancient city of Ayuthaya, founded by King Ramathibodi in 1350, was named after Ayodhya to embody the concept of “Ramarajya” or the rule of Lord Rama. Although predominantly Buddhist, Thailand exhibits Hindu influences, particularly in royal and national symbols and ceremonies. The Thai national epic, the Ramakien, is a rendition of the Ramayana, written by King Rama I after the original manuscripts were lost. This narrative continues to play a vital role in Thai cultural expressions, such as classical dance-drama. The names of Thai kings, bearing the title Rama, and cities named after Lord Rama’s sons further underscore the deep-rooted connections with Ayodhya’s cultural heritage.

Indonesia: A Symbol of Prosperity and Nobility

Yogyakarta, a prominent city in Indonesia, derives its name from Ayodhya, signifying a place of prosperity and noble rule. Indonesian adaptation of the Ramayana, known as Kakawin Ramayana, alongside regular ballet performances at the Prambanan Temple, underscores the epic’s significance in Indonesian culture. Yogyakarta, mirroring Ayodhya’s reputation for prosperity and skilled governance, showcases the influence of Indian epics and cultural motifs in shaping the cultural and historical landscape of Indonesia.

Conclusion

The connections between Ayodhya and faraway lands such as Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia illustrate the extensive cultural and historical networks that existed in ancient times. These ties, forged through marriage, shared religious narratives, and cultural exchanges, highlight the profound influence of Ayodhya’s heritage on global cultures, reinforcing the city’s importance in the collective memory and identity of nations beyond India’s borders.


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