Diabetes is a growing problem in India, yet little is known about the awareness levels and barriers to care among patients with diabetes. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate patients' knowledge related to diabetes and its complications as well as barriers to care. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients with diabetes seen at an eye hospital in Delhi. The moderator's guide incorporated constructs from the health belief model. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Two independent reviewers used an iterative approach to identify themes. Twenty-three participants were interviewed; the mean age was 59, nearly half were men (42%), most were married (83%), and 48% had less than 10 years of education. Participants had general knowledge about the severity of diabetes, but did not necessarily perceive personal susceptibility to the complications of diabetes. Cues to action were typically symptom related. Most participants recognized exercise and diet as key components of diabetes management, but self-care for these behaviors was low. Often, participants had difficulty identifying their diabetes-related needs based on limited knowledge; when identified, limited education and financial constraints were the main barriers reported. This study underscores the need for patient-centered, culturally relevant education interventions for persons living with diabetes in India that take into account individual levels of baseline diabetes knowledge. © 2013 © 2013 Institute of Health Promotion and Education.