Herein the degradation of malachite green (MG) dye from aqueous medium by vanadium doped zinc oxide (ZnO:V3%) nanopowder was investigated. The specific surface area and pore volume of the nanopowder was characterized by nitrogen adsorption method. Batch experimental procedures were conducted to investigate the adsorption and photocatalytic degradation of MG dye. Adsorption kinetics investigations were performed by varying the amount of the catalyst and the initial dye concentrations. Adsorption and photocatalytic degradation data were modeled using the Lagergren pseudo-first-order and second-order kinetic equation. The results showed that the ZnO:V3% nanopowder was particularly effective for the removal of MG and data were found to comply with Lagergreen pseudo-first-order kinetic model.