A total of nine polymorphic microsatellite loci were obtained from a genomic library of Pangasius pangasius (order Siluriformes, family Pangasiidae). Samples from rivers Bhagirathi (n = 22) and Mahanadi (n = 20) were genotyped for each of the nine microsatellite loci to determine genetic variation. The mean number of alleles per locus was 5.22 in Bhagirathi and 5.78 in Mahanadi; and expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.567 (Bhagirathi) to 0.578 (Bhagirathi). Significant deviation (P < 0.003) from Hardy–Weinberg expectations was evident at three loci, Ppa2 (Bhagirathi), Ppa14 (Mahanadi) and Ppa28 (Bhagirathi and Mahanadi). The identified microsatellite loci were found to be promising for population genetics studies of P. pangasius.