We present two 40 year records of monthly coral Sr/Ca ratios from the eastern pole of the Indian Ocean Dipole. A modern coral covers the period from 1968 to 2007. A sub-fossil coral derives from the medieval climate anomaly (MCA) and spans 1100–1140 ad. The modern coral records SST variability in the eastern pole of the Indian Ocean Dipole. A strong correlation is also found between coral Sr/Ca and the IOD index. The correlation with ENSO is asymmetric: the coral shows a moderate correlation with El Niño and a weak correlation with La Niña. The modern coral shows large interannual variability. Extreme IOD events cause cooling > 3 °C (1994, 1997) or ~ 2 °C (2006). In total, the modern coral indicates 32 warm/cool events, with 16 cool and 16 warm events. The MCA coral shows 24 warm/cool events, with 14 cool and 10 warm events. Only one cool event could be comparable to the positive Indian Ocean Dipole in 2006. The seasonal cycle of the MCA coral is reduced (< 50% of to the modern) and the skewness of the Sr/Ca data is lower. This suggests a deeper thermocline in the eastern Indian Ocean associated with a La Niña-like mean state in the Indo-Pacific during the MCA.