We have demonstrated that the gel-like mesophase of Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) can be synthesized by judicial adjustment of water to surfactant molar ratio (W0), without using any additional salts, gelating agents or co-surfactants. Gel formation was found to be highly dependent on the water to surfactant molar ratio (W0), with the lowest value of W0 (41.5) resulting in rapid gel formation. Environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) analysis revealed that the gel was comprised of interconnected cylindrical structures. The presence of hydrogen bonding in the gel-like mesophase was confirmed by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis. Rheology measurements revealed that all the gel samples were highly viscoelastic in nature. Furthermore, Au and Ag containing CTAB gels were explored as precursors for the preparation of spherical Gold (Au) and Silver (Ag) nanoparticles using Sodium borohydride (NaBH4) as reducing agent. The effects of NaBH4 concentration on the particle size and morphology of the Au and Ag nanoparticles have also been studied. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.