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Data from three different altimeters (Topex/Poseidon, Jason-1, and European Remote Sensing Satellite 2) have been assimilated in a third-generation global spectral wave model forced by winds observed by scatterometer onboard QuikSCAT. Two different approaches of assimilation have been discussed. In the first approach, a simple scaling has been used to generate wave spectrum from altimeter-derived significant wave heights for assimilation in the model. In the second approach, the influence of altimeter observation has been spread to nearby grid points. Assimilation has been carried out every 6 h for five days. After the expiry of the assimilation phase, the model has been run in pure hindcast mode. Assimilation experiments have been carried out for the months of September and December 2002. Impact of assimilation has been found to be quite high in the Indian Ocean. It has been also found that the model is able to retain the memory of assimilation for a period of two and a half days as far as global ocean is concerned. This memory is more for the Indian Ocean. The wave spectrum generated by the model in the hindcast mode has been validated against the buoy-observed wave spectrum in the high sea conditions. The more significant impact has been seen in the case of altimeter track in the vicinity of the buoy.