The twin fish, state symbol of Uttar Pradesh and commonly found on ancient buildings of Ayodhya, is the biggest clue to the link and the route undertaken by Kaya (Kara/Gaya) royals to Korea (and Japan)

Kissing twin stone fish sculpture

Kissing twin stone fish sculpture

Carved in stone: Historic India-Korea links discovered

Shivnath Thukral

Tuesday, September 14, 2004 (Kimhae):

Links between India and Korea are not only modern-day trade links with commercial names like LG, Hyundai and Samsung making their presence felt in India.

In 48 AD, Queen Suro or Princess Heo Hwang-ok is said to have made a journey from Lord Ram’s birthplace to Korea by sea, carrying a stone which calmed the waters.

Crucial evidence

The stone is not found anywhere in Korea and is now a part of crucial evidence that the princess belonged to the city of Ayodhya in India.

“This stone is only found in India, proof that it came from there to Korea,” said Song Weon Young, city archeologist of Kimhae, a city near the big industrial town of Pusan.

People of Kimhae were so fascinated by these links that they started research on it several years ago.

They also ran into a symbol of the Kaya Kingdon with two fish kissing each other, similar to that of the Mishra royal family in Ayodhya.

And in the mainly Buddhist city of Kimhae, the fact that Ayodhya has now become the epicentre of a religious divide is an upsetting one

“I am aware of the problem and I feel sorry that Ayodhya is such a volatile city,” said a Kimhae resident.

Dynastic links

The Princess is said to have given birth to 10 children, which marked the beginning of the powerful dynasty of Kimhae Kims. Kim Dae Jung, a former President also belongs to the same family name.

But even at the centre of these links lies a strong sense of commercial exchange between Korea and India.

The stone represents Kaya’s cultural heritage which did not stay in one place, and the stone indicates that commercial exchange has been on since the Queen came from India.

Thousands of miles away from Ayodhya, the stone is a small piece of history. The people in the city seem quite proud of their links with India, especially because Queen Suro gave rise to the Kim dynasty, a powerful family name in the country.

Korean relative of Kings of Ayodhya goes on evidence hunting The Indian Express Jan 21, 2010

A Professor Emeritus of Hanyang University and national archeologist from Korea, Prof Byung Mo Kim shares a ‘genetic connection’ with Ayodhya.

“I share my genes with the royal family of Ayodhya. Travellers from both these countries not just traded goods, but also genes. And I hail from the Kara dynasty, whose first woman was the princess of Ayodhya, who married the first Kara king. Her brothers went on to become the Kings of Ayodhya and this is how I am genetically connected to the holy city,” said Prof Kim.

The archaeologist, whose work on the princess of Ayodhya marrying the prince of Korea’s Kara dynasty in 4th century AD has received widespread recognition, is on his fifth visit to the Holy city in search of more evidence for his study.

On his three-day visit to the state, he not only visited Ayodhya but also made a slide presentation on historical evidences of cultural links between Ayodhya and Korea, on being invited by the state government’s Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan. “The queen of Korea’s biggest dynasty Hoh was the daughter of Ayodhya and in that manner, Ayodhya is like our mother city. Princess Ho travelled by sea route and married King Kim Suro of Kara dynasty. He was the first king and the entire Kara clan, which comprises over about two-third the population of Korea are its descendents,” said Prof Kim.

The twin fish, which is the state symbol of Uttar Pradesh and is found on almost all the ancient buildings of Ayodhya, is the biggest clue to the link and the route undertaken by Princess Hoh, says the professor. “I have pictorial evidences. The twin fish symbol is originally from the Meditarrenean states and it travelled to this part of the world and settled around Lucknow. But the same twin fish symbol can also be seen in ancient buildings in Nepal, Pakistan, China and Japan and the gate of royal tomb of King Suro in Kimhae city in Korea,” said Prof Kim.

But, it is not this connection alone that has brought the archaeologist here as he also seeks a cultural connect between Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and Kimhae city in Korea.

“For the last 40 years, I have been tracing the route taken by the princess between Ayodhya and Kimhae city and after five visits, I have all the evidence to culturally connect the two cities.”

Nearly six years ago, the Korean government had declared Ayodhya as the sister city of Korea and a monument in the memory of Princess Hoh was also established here in the city.

“The Kara clan is the biggest community in Korea and we like to visit our queen mother’s place. Through these visits, we are making attempts to talk to the Uttar Pradesh government to open up their doors for strengthening cultural relations between the two countries,” said Prof Kim.

Ayodhya Shodh Sansthan director Dr Y P Singh said the state’s culture department is making all efforts to help the Koreans find their missing links.

“Through these interactions, we have been able to find new facets of Ayodhya and now in addition to being Lord Ram’s birthplace, the city has another significance attached,” said Singh.k


Further readings:

The Buddhist Fish symbol – Pairs of  Shachihoko, gargoyle-like carp, often appear on opposite ends of the ridge of a castle roof to symbolise diligence and ecstasy. There is also a fertility association with this pair since one fish is male and the other female.

In Japan, the fish means well-being, happiness and freedom. It is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols used in Buddhism imported from China. The fish symbolises living in a state of fearlessness, without danger of drowning in the ocean of sufferings, and migrating from place to place freely and spontaneously.

A shachihoko decorates the roof of Okayama Castle (Photo: Wikipedia).  From an entry on Shachihoko in Wikipedia, the definition of Shachihoko is as follows below:

A shachihoko (鯱?) is an animal in Japanese folklore with the head of a tiger and the body of a carp. It was believed that this animal could cause the rain to fall, and as such, temples and castles were often adorned with roof ornaments (shibi) crafted in the form of a shachihoko, in order to protect them from fire.

The above kanji can be pronounced in two different ways. When pronounced “shachihoko”, it refers to the mystical animal mentioned above. When pronounced “shachi”, it usually means orca. 

India: The Origin of Korea? (The Marmot’s Hole) FEBRUARY 26, 2010


Kwon Ju-hyeon (권주현) (2003). 가야인의 삶과 문화 (Gayain-ui salm-gwa munhwa, The culture and life of the Gaya people). Seoul: Hyean. ISBN 89-8494-221-9.

Ancient ties between Ayodhya and South Korea, November 1, 2011 by Chandrakant Marwadi

Newspaper report reported that Kim, wife of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, is a descendant of one of royal families in Ayodhya dating back two thousand years. The Korea Times had reported quoting the presidential office.
“The office said Kim is a descendant of Heo Hwang-ok, a princess who travelled from an ancient Kingdom in Ayodhya, India , to Korea,” the newspaper reported.
It has been an affair that resurfaced after a lapse of almost 2000 years in the year 2001. Mayors of Ayodhya and Kim-Hae city in South Korea had signed a Sister City Bond in March 2001.
On the picturesque banks of river Saryu in the holy city, one will find a monument in memory of an Ayodhya princess who is believed to have ‘mothered’ a dynasty in South Korea.
The clan that descended from the Ayodhya princess Huh and South Korean King Suros, today known as Kim-Hae-Kim clan, has a little over six million Huh descendants in the Republic of South Korea….

Brahmin Raja of Ayodhya

While the present Korean rulers are said to be the 72nd generation after Kim Suro, the Ayodhya princess’ descendant, Bimlendra Mohan Prasad Mishra, continues to be referred to as ‘Raja saheb’, or sometimes more intimately as ‘Pappu bhaiyya’, in India. The former ruler of Ayodhya was invited by South Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong-pil for the annual memorial ceremony of King Suro. The South Korean government has also installed a monument in Ayodhya in their former queen’s memory.

While Koreans regard Mishra as a descendant of Kaya royal family, Mishra traces his roots back to Bhojpur’s landlord, Sadanand Pathak. With his eye on politics, he is desperate to play down his royal lineage. Ask him for a photograph in his royal attire, and he flatly refuses. Ask him about his extravagance and he insists that he is a commoner.


Heo Hwang-ok, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Heo Hwang-ok was a princess who is believed to have travelled from the ancient kingdom of “Ayodhya” to Korea; however her source is still a matter of ongoing research.[1] Information about her comes almost entirely from a few short passages in the Samguk Yusa, an 11th-century Korean chronicle. According to that chronicle,[2] 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,[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]


Members of both the Heo lineages (including the clans of Gimhae, Hayang, Taein, and Yangcheon{=Gongam}) 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.


Excerpt from Ayodhya (Wikipedia):

Kim clan and Princess Heo Hwang-ok

The Atharva Veda called Ayodhya “a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself”.

According to the 11th-century Korean chronicle the Samguk Yusa, the wife of King Suro of the ancient Korean kingdom of Geumgwan Gaya was a princess who traveled by boat from a faraway land called Ayuta to Korea in 48 CE. It is commonly thought that Ayodhya is the foreign land referred to in the Korean chronicles, but some scholars believe that the foreign land may have been Ayutthaya of Thailand.

However, the local government of Ayodhya and South Korea acknowledged the connection, and held a ceremony to raise a statue of the princess on the banks of the Sarayu River. The adopted Korean name of the princess is Heo Hwang-ok, the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya Dynasty and the ancestor of the Korean Kim family of Kimhae and Heo. Two millennia prior, a princess of Ayodhya had been shipped off as a bride to Suro. They had ten children, of whom nine became Buddhist monks. His descendants now form the 10 million-strong Kim Kimhae clan and Heo Gimhae clan.[6][13][14][15]

In the 7th century CE, Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang), the Chinese monk, recorded many Hindu temples in Ayodhya. In the epic Ramayana, the city of Ayodhya is cited as the birthplace of Lord Sri Rama, a Hindu deity who was worshipped as Lord Vishnu’s seventh incarnation. Ayodhya became a famous pilgrimage destination in the 15th century when Ramananda, the Hindu mystic, established a devotional sect of Sri Rama.

The Thai kingdom and city of Ayutthaya, and the Indonesian sultanate of Yogyakarta, are thought to be named after Ayodhya

9 thoughts on “The twin fish, state symbol of Uttar Pradesh and commonly found on ancient buildings of Ayodhya, is the biggest clue to the link and the route undertaken by Kaya (Kara/Gaya) royals to Korea (and Japan)

  1. kim, hae june says:

    I am from kimhae kim(samhyun pah). I grew up among my sibilings and observed relatives. Now I live in the usa, melting pot. I strongly believe the fact of the liniage with indian. Our family are different from other Korean member. we thought that fact was bad, inferior and cursed. That is the reason King kim suro ‘s descendant were searching for clues. If DNA proves that,we don’t have to carry or feel different. That is the reason our clan people looked for clue. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your comments, I hope someday you get your DNA test and establish your family genealogy, it is fascinating to know where we come from and our connections with one another across the continents.

  2. kim, hae june says:

    To tell you deep and touching stories about … since we are different from the most community folk, only can related to same clan folk emotionally but by law same name clan was banned years ago. My sibilings marriges are not smooth either. So, Economic reason is not any part of this liniage searching of the kim,s clan endeavor. That is very difficult to adjust to. I already mentioned that I am living in the USA and met folk from Arabic,african and Italian blood civilians. One of from important part of clues was found from Food. thank you…

    • kim, hae june says:

      I met one woman from north china and asked about “Kim”. She said kim is from north china. Through histories ,people left their hometown to stay away from occurred disasters or famines. Probably young man ,whose ame is “Kim suro” went to ayodhia to study Buddism . And also I met indian hindu girl and asked her about Ayodhia city. She said that the city is big academic ancient city had lots of battles. S.o many castles and royal family. I guess that buddism student Kim suro escaped the caotic city with this princess Huh hwangok. he was supposed to be a monk but he fell in love with her and landed in korea adjacent to japan. Think about japan budism… monk has wife…. according to the monk rule … should not have woman…… sorry for my English……

  3. Heavy Metal666 says:

    Really? How are you different from other Koreans? Do you look different? Act different? What?

  4. Korean language has direct linkage to Tamil, a classical language of India. Koreans call their parents as “Appa and Amma” as any Tamil will do. The Hangul letters are similar to Tamil script and follow the same alphabetical order as in Tamil. Twin fish is a symbol of ancient Pandiyas of Tamil nation. The Kim’s complex arise out of their dark skin which is not from Mishra family, instead from Dravidian South. There are lot more evidences to prove that Heo Hwang Ok sailed from the southern shores to Korea via ancient Silk Route by sea. It is a pity that Uttar pradesh did not direct the misguided Korean team to the South. Read more to know the real facts by reading the following article:

  5. satheesh babu says:

    The Queen’s(Heo Hwang-ok) DNA test results indicate that she is from south india and not from North.

    Uttar Pradesh state’s emblem consist of a circular seal depicting the confluence of Ganga,
    Yamuna at Allahabad, a pair of fish to represent the former Muslim Nawabs of Oudh
    and a bow and arrow to represent the Hindu deity Ram who was born in Ayodhy

  6. satheesh babu says:

    Uttar Pradesh state emblem was originally designed in 1916 it consist of a circular seal depicting the confluence of Ganga,
    Yamuna at Allahabad, a pair of fish to represent the former Muslim Nawabs of Oudh and a bow and arrow to represent the Hindu deity Ram who was born in Ayodhy(Nepal claimed that Ayodhya the birthplace of Lord Rama is in Nepal).
    Genetic analysis of human mitochondria in the tombs of Gaya Daeseong-dong, similar to those of Tamils in southern India.

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