First Lady of Korea Kim Jung-sook was given a warm welcome on her arrival in the state capital on Monday to attend the ‘Deepotsava’ when over 3 lakh diyas (earthen lamps) will be lighted at the ghats of Ayodhya on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his ministerial colleagues welcomed her at the Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport. Tourism Minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi accompanied the first lady from New Delhi in a special Korean flight.
Kim Jung-sook’s presence assumes importance because of the link Korea has with Ayodhya. It is believed that a princess from Ayodhya, the place where Lord Ram is believed to have born, became the queen in South Korea some 2,000 years ago. She also ruled a dynasty known as Karak.
The name of the princess of Ayodhya is believed to be Suriratna but in South Korea, she is named as Heo Hwang-ok. In this celebration, Korea’s first lady will lay the foundation stone for the Rs 50-crore memorial of Queen Hur Hwang-ok. A Korean cultural team will give a performance at the Queen Memorial. Padmashree Surdarshan Patnaik has also made a sculpture of Lord Ram in sand near the Queen Memorial park.
An official said that the main function would be held on Tuesday when a shobha yatra would be taken out from Saket College in Ayodhya where 15 tableaux showing different acts of Lord Ram would be on display. Among the tableaux, four will be displayed by artistes from foreign countries like Korea, Laos, Russia and Indonesia. The procession will culminate at Ramkatha park. At the Ramkatha park, Yogi will receive Lord Ram and Sita along with Laxman who will arrive on a chopper. The CM will also honour the Ramlila artistes of different countries and in the night, Ramlila of different countries will be performed along with a cultural dance by the Korean team.
In the evening, over 3 lakh diyas will be lighted at Ram Ki Paudi by over 5,000 volunteers. The Chief Minister will light the first special diya having a diameter of 16 feet. Rita Bahuguna Joshi said that it would be a ‘never before experience’ in Ayodhya. The city is all decked up with permanent façade lighting.