Historian are viewed that this cordial relationship between the two countries extends back to 48AD, when Queen Suro, or Princess Heo Hwang-ok, traveled from the kingdom of Ayodhya in North India to Korea. According to the Samguk Yusa, the princess had a dream about a heavenly king who was awaiting heaven's anointed ride. After Princess Heo had the dream, she asked her parents, the king and queen, for permission to set out and seek the man, which the king and queen urged with the belief that god orchestrated the whole fate. Upon approval, she set out on a boat, carrying gold, silver, a tea plant, and a stone which calmed the waters.
Archeologists discovered a stone with two fish kissing each other, a symbol of the Gaya kingdom that is unique to the Mishra royal family in Ayodhya, India. This royal link provides further evidence that there was an active commercial engagement between India and Korea since the queen's arrival to Korea. The city of Gimhae, where the princess landed in South Korea, now has a pact with the Ayodhya administration in Uttar Pradesh, which even donated a site there for a monument of Queen Hur-Hwang-ok.
In the ancient time Buddhism was the bedrock of relationship between the Korea and India. Buddhism was introduced to Korea in the second half of fourth century and Koguryo was the first among the three kingdoms of Korea, which received Buddhism. During the reign of Kim Sosurim (371-384), Buddhism was officially recognized in Korea. Supposedly, Buddhism reached from India to Korea via China. However, there are some speculations which try to explore the possibility that Buddhism reached to Korea directly from India.
Even if Buddhism reached Korea directly from India before its official route via China, more or less it was in a dormant form and there is hardly any evidence that it got any reference in the Korean cultural and social life. Without going into the debate of source of Korean Buddhism, it is safe to say that spread of Buddhism in Korea during the era of three kingdoms led to increase in interactions of two countries afterwards.
More to come up in the next write up of this series as here in India the government is trying also trying to do something special in relation of the 40th anniversary of India Korea relation. And I am also making a small documentary on the North East region of India and the korean cultural impact.