Sapoviruses (SaVs) are responsible for sporadic cases and outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis. Despite this, few studies in India have focused on the epidemiological investigation of SaV in cases of acute gastroenteritis. The aim of this study was to understand the molecular epidemiology, genetic diversity and clinical impact of SaV in diarrhoeic children from Pune, Western India. Between 2007 and 2011, a total of 985 faecal samples from diarrhoeic cases and non-diarrhoeic controls were collected and examined for the presence of SaV by nested RT–PCR. SaV was detected in 2·7% (21/778) of the cases and 1·9% (4/207) of the controls. We observed that the majority of SaV mono-infections caused severe gastroenteritis (67%) with clinical manifestations of diarrhoea (100%), vomiting (73%) and dehydration (80%). All known human SaV genogroups were detected in the study. At least eight genotypes were identified from cases and controls. Genogroups GIV and GV, along with genotypes GI.5, GII.4 and GII.6, were discovered for the first time in India. Two GII.4 study strains were found to be 98·5–99% identical, having a novel intra-genogroup recombinant (GII.1/GII.4) recently reported from the Philippines, suggesting probable evidence of recombination. The circulation pattern of SaV genotypes varied during the study period, with GII.1 being predominant in 2007 and 2009, GIV.1 in 2008, and GV.1 in 2011.