There is a growing discontentment among Indian cotton farmers because of declining profitability. Increase in production costs, yield stagnation and volatile output prices have affected the net incomes adversely. In this study we analysed cost of cotton cultivation to elucidate reasons for cost escalation. Cost of cultivation data obtained from the Directorate of Economics and Statistics for the period 2000-01 to 2014-15 was used for the analysis. It was found that an increase in human labour wage rates was the major factor that contributed to cost escalation. Fertilizers were another factor that contributed to cost escalation. Selective mechanization for curtailing human labour consumption and judicious use of fertilizers are options to lower the cost of cotton cultivation.