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Biometric features are extracted from a complex pattern and stored as high dimensional data. These data do not follow traditional sorting order like numerical and alphabetical data. Hence, a linear search method makes the identification process extremely slow as well as increases the false acceptance rate beyond an acceptable range. To address this problem, we propose an efficient indexing mechanism to retrieve iris biometric templates using Gabor energy features. The Gabor energy features are calculated from the preprocessed iris texture in different scales and orientations to generate a 12-dimensional index key for an iris template. An index space is created based on the values of index keys of all individuals. A candidate set is retrieved from the index space based on the values of query index key. Next, we rank the retrieved candidates according to their occurrences. If the identity of the query template is matched, then it is a hit, otherwise a miss. We have experimented our approach with Bath, CASIA-V3-Interval, CASIA-V4-Thousand, MMU2, and WVU iris databases. Our proposed approach gives 11.3%, 14.5%, 16.3%, 13.5%, and 10.3% penetration rates and 98.2%, 91.1%, 90.7%, 85.2%, and 96% hit rates for Bath, CASIA-V3-Interval, CASIA-V4-Thousand, MMU2, and WVU iris database, respectively, when we consider the retrieving templates up to the fifth rank. Experiments substantiate that our approach is capable of retrieving biometric data with a higher hit rate and lower penetration rate compared to the existing approaches. Application of Gabor energy features to index iris data proves to be effective for fast and accurate retrieval. With our proposed approach, it is possible to retrieve a set of iris templates similar to the query template in the order of milliseconds and is independent of sizes of databases.