Paragangliomas are uncommon and those arising from the vagal trunk are rarer. Pigmented extra-adrenal paragangliomas are still rarer and reported sites of occurrence are the uterus, spine, retroperitoneum, bladder, mediastinum and orbit. The presence of abundant pigment in a cervical paraganglion has not been reported previously. We report one such unusual case of pigmented vagal paraganglioma that arose from the vagal trunk below the nodose ganglion, had massive central necrosis and showed hypovascularity on angiography. The unusual features and difficulties in the diagnosis of such cases are discussed.