A first attempt is made for identifying the wake characteristics of circular cylinder confined by a wavy wall at laminar flow regime. Numerical study of flow characteristics past circular cylinder with wavy-wall confinement perpendicular to cylinder axis has been carried out in the range of Reynolds number 20–100. The finite volume-based CFD solver Ansys Fluent (Version 15.0) is used for computations. The results are presented in the form of streamline plots, mean drag co-efficient, flow separation angle and recirculation length. Wavy-wall confinement leads to highly significant changes in the cylinder wake such as the evolution of strong x-plane vortices, enhanced fluid mixing, wake suppression near the crest region and vortex stretching near the trough region on the downstream of the cylinder has been observed. Flow separation angle varies significantly along the axis of the cylinder. Increased wall shear stress on rear surface of the cylinder has also been observed. The part of vorticity magnitude as compared to strain rate has been distinguished and identified using vortex identification methods such as Q-criterion and Lambda-2 criterion. © 2017, Indian Academy of Sciences.