Cowpea is a very useful versatile legume crop grown in India for its delicious pods, grain, fodder and green mannuring purpose in various regions of India. It has a wide range of genetic diversity which provides a tremendous scope for genetic improvement of economic traits. An improvement in yield and quality in self pollinated crop like cowpea is normally achieved by selecting the genotypes with desirable character combinations existing in nature or by hybridization. Hence, the information in a collection of some indigenous genotypes of cowpea in order to formulate a sound breeding plan for its improvement has been reviewed here. Cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.)Walp.] is the most important grain legume and fodder crop of the semi-arid warm tropics and subtropics. There is a great scope for improvement of genotypes with versatile crop duration, high green pod yield, low fiber and high yield along with protein content in grain as well as fodder. Diversity analysis has been a fundamental protocol for crop improvement; it unravels the genetic potentials of genotypes. Successful conservation of germplasm largely depends on the understanding of the diversity within the species Karuri et al. (2010). Germplasm with wider genetic base provides buffer and resilience against climatic and other environmental changes and ensures sustainable food security. The presence of genetic variability among crop genotypes depicts the richness of the gene pool and assures plant breeders of the possibilities of combating subsequent food security crisis for the crop. Moreover, understanding the nearness and diverseness of genotypes within the same species is an important primary knowledge to guide selection and improvement in a breeding programme. In essence, diversity leads to the identification of superior genotypes which may be recommended as cultivar and identification of genotypes with desirable phenotypic traits for selection as parents for eventual breeding and improvement programmes.