We present here the first comprehensive genetic characterization of snapmelon landraces from the humid tropics of eastern India. The genetic diversity among 42 snapmelon landraces collected from four agro-ecological regions of eastern India (eight agro-ecological subregions) was assessed by measuring variation at 16 simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker loci, at various traits including plant habit and fruit type, yield (two associated traits), disease resistance and biochemical composition (total soluble solids, ascorbic acid, carotenoids and titrable acidity). Differences between accessions were observed in a number of plant and fruit traits. Snapmelon germplasm with high acidity, elevated carotenoid content and resistance to cucumber mosaic virus were identified in the collection. The SSR analysis indicated that there is a high level of genetic variability within snapmelon germplasm. Comparison of the genetic variability between snapmelons of eastern India and melons from north, south and central regions of India and reference accessions of melon from Spain, France, Japan, Korea, Maldives, Iraq, Zambia, Israel using SSRs showed that Indian snapmelon germplasm is not closely related to melon accessions from other parts of the world and that there are regional differences between Indian melon accessions. Eastern India snapmelon has unique traits, so it is important that more germplasm from this region is sampled and preserved.