Cryptography is a crucial technique, involving protection of information and it’s communication in a secure manner. This is a practice of storing transmitted data in a particular form that forbids an unauthorized person from accessing and processing the data. The application of modern cryptography in a combination of mathematical theories and various computer science techniques has become inevitable for securing digital information assets while defending the invasion of privacy in every sphere of modern society. This study aims to investigate the research performance of Indian cryptography research while identifying the most productive research institutes, authors, source titles and collaborating countries in terms of the number of publications and their citation impact. Alongside, the study also aims to identify the thematic evolution of Indian cryptography research during successive periods, using ‘co-word cluster network analysis’. About 3767 (9.88 %) Indian publications of the total global publications of 38098 in the cryptography research were retrieved and analysed from Web of Science, within a time span of 1999–2018. This study identifies India’s rank and most proficient organizations, authors, source titles and collaborating countries based on publication numbers and citation impact. Alongside, this study also quantified and visualized the distribution and impact of research fronts of Indian cryptography research at successive periods, through keywords overlapping map, strategic maps and thematic evolution map. The outcomes of this study will be useful to formulate future research policies that address further improvement of Indian cryptography research.