King Suro in Gimhae
On Sunday, after Jae-oo awoke from his drunken slumber we headed to Gimhae to see his parents’ new house. He’s originally from Busan so we take trips there as often as time permits, either to see his family, or to enjoy the atmosphere. His parents recently relocated to Gimhae, a suburb of Busan, and we wanted to check out the house.
What can I say about Gimhae? After two hours with his mom fattening me up as much as she could I said I wanted to go walk it off so we headed out to find something in Gimhae to see. As far as tourist sites it’s pretty much tombs and one big park. Off we went. The closest one was King Suro’s Tomb (수로왕릉).
According to the legend, King Suro was one of six princes born from eggs that descended from the sky in a golden bowl wrapped in red cloth. Suro was the first born and led the others in setting up the six states of Gaya in A.D. 42. King Suro’s wife was, according to legend, from the Indian country Ayuta and arrived to Gaya by boat. They married in A.D. 48. Queen Heo Hwang-ok was princess of the Indian country and still today identified with Ayodhya, India.
According to ancient records, the sign reads, King Suro died at the age of 158 in the year 199. His tomb is seen by entering a gate with two fish carved in the center and features stone statues of a warrior, a literary man, a horse, a sheep and a tiger. In the 13th year of the reign of King Seonjo, 1580, of the Joseon Dynasty, Heo Yeop renovated the tomb site and erected the offering stones and stone alters. In the 25th year of King Injo’s reign, 1647, the tombstone was erected. And finally in the 15th year of Kong Gojong’s reign, 1878, the Sungseonjeon Shrine was named and the royal tomb was renovated to what it is today.
Of course I heard none of the legend story from Jae-oo, who often fails as a tourist guide, and read up on it when I got home. I can’t even fathom Korean history at times. The dates make almost no sense to me and I’m sure that’s because I grew up in a country with history books that only start in the 1700s where as Korean history books go back much further.
There was a nice park surrounding the tomb and a pond to one side where most of the visitors were enjoying the fresh air. I couldn’t get over how green everything was and since it was free to enter we didn’t really mind how small this site is compared to other tourist sites.
경상남도 김해시 서상동 312
312 Seosa-dong Gimhae-si Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea
Bus: 1, 1-1, 2, 2-1, 3, 3-1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 14, 21, 21-1, 30, 35, 44, 56, 59-1, 60, 61, 71, 71A, 71B, 82, 100, 123, 130, 97, 98, 1004
Subway: King Suro’s Tomb Station, exit 2. Go straight and turn left at the first intersection. At the fifth street, take a left and the park will be one block in. Follow signs where available.
Parking: 38 spaces available. W1,000 per hour.
March ~ October: Everyday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
November ~ February: Everyday: 9:00am – 5:00pm