On Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to South Korea, he gifted a Bodhi tree sapling to the Mayor of Gimhae on Thursday as a mark of close ties between India and South Korea.
The Bodhi is a sacred tree under which Lord Buddha attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya in Bihar.
There are "historical and civilisational linkages" between India and Korea, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Gimhae and Ayodhya have a sister-city relationship. According to a mythological legend, a princess from "Ayuta" is said to have married a king in Gimhae. Ayuta is believed to be the Uttar Pradesh city of Ayodhya. She was also the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya, the ancient name of Gimhae.
A memorial of the Korean queen, named Heo Hwang-ok, is located in Ayodhya. Gimhae and Ayodhya signed an International Sister City bond in 2001 to formalize their relationship and encourage cultural development.
Prime Minister Modi reached Seoul early this morning on a two-day visit aimed at strengthening the special strategic partnership between South Korea and India and boosting bilateral trade and cultural ties.
This is his second visit to the Republic of Korea after his state visit in May 2015.
PM Modi also unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the Yonsei University and paid respects at the National Cemetery in Seoul.
PM Modi has been awarded the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation for his dedicated service to international cooperation, global growth, and human development.
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