Abstract Eighteen ginger cultivars from Northwest Himalayan region, showing significant differences in rhizome size, texture and pungency, were selected and characterized both by chemical and genetic analyses. The genetic analysis was undertaken utilizing molecular markers (ISSR and SSR) while chemical characterization was done through HPLC of four chemical markers (gingerol homologues and shogaol). The data revealed moderate to high diversity in the collection, clustering them broadly into two groups. Both ISSR and SSR techniques were efficient in distinguishing all the 18 ginger cultivars, however, SSR markers were observed to be better in displaying average polymorphism (77.8%) than ISSR (66.7%). Based on statistical analysis, one ISSR and two SSR primers could be identified which effectively distinguished closely related ginger cultivars. Chemical profiling and subsequent multivariate analysis distinguished five lines which were distinct from rest of the collection. The study has contributed in understanding the genetic and chemical diversity of the region, characterization of lines for commercial exploitation and ginger gene pool conservation.