Development of informative polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers at a genome-wide scale is essential for efficient large-scale genotyping applications. We identified genome-wide 1835 SSRs showing polymorphism between desi and kabuli chickpea. A total of 1470 polymorphic SSR markers from diverse coding and non-coding regions of the chickpea genome were developed. These physically mapped SSR markers exhibited robust amplification efficiency (73.9%) and high intra- and inter-specific polymorphic potential (63.5%), thereby suggesting their immense use in various genomics-assisted breeding applications. The SSR markers particularly derived from intergenic and intronic sequences revealed high polymorphic potential. Using the mapped SSR markers, a wider functional molecular diversity (16–94%, mean: 68%), and parentage- and cultivar-specific admixed domestication pattern and phylogenetic relationships in a structured population of desi and kabuli chickpea genotypes was evident. The intra-specific polymorphism (47.6%) and functional molecular diversity (65%) potential of polymorphic SSR markers developed in our study is much higher than that of previous documentations. Finally, we have developed a user-friendly web resource, Chickpea Microsatellite Database (CMsDB; http://www.nipgr.res.in/CMsDB.html), which provides public access to the data and results reported in this study. The developed informative SSR markers can serve as a resource for various genotyping applications, including genetic enhancement studies in chickpea. © 2015 Parida, Verma, Yadav, Ambawat, Das, Garg and Jain.