Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) causing mosaic, leaf distortion and stunting of vanilla(Vanilla planifolia Andrews) in India was characterized on the basis of biological and coat protein (CP) nucleotide sequence properties. In mechanical inoculation tests, the virus was found to infect members of Chenopodiaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae and Solanaceae.Nicotiana benthamiana was found to be a suitable host for the propagation of CMV. The virus was purified from inoculatedN. benthamiana plants and negatively stained purified preparations contained isometric particles of about 28 nm in diameter. The molecular weight of the viral coat protein subunits was found to be 25.0 kDa. Polyclonal antiserum was produced in New Zealand white rabbit, immunoglobulin G (IgG) was purified and conjugated with alkaline phosphatase enzyme. Double antibody sandwich-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA) method was standardized for the detection of CMV infection in vanilla plants. CP gene of the virus was amplified using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), cloned and sequenced. Sequenced region contained a single open reading frame of 657 nucleotides potentially coding for 218 amino acids. Sequence analyses with other CMV isolates revealed the greatest identity with black pepper isolate of CMV (99%) and the phylogram clearly showed that CMV infecting vanilla belongs to subgroup IB. This is the first report of occurrence of CMV onV. planifolia from India.