In the present work, the synthesis of ZnO/PVA hydrogel nanocomposites was carried out using the gamma irradiation technique. The ZnO nanoparticles were synthesized using co-precipitation method and dispersed in the PVA solution. To prepare the ZnO/PVA hydrogel nanocomposites, the mixture was exposed to gamma irradiation dose of 25 kGy. The formation of ZnO nanoparticles in PVA matrix was confirmed using the powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and the UV-Visible Spectrophotometer (UV). The surface morphology of the hydrogels was studied using the Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM). The swelling ratio and equilibrium degree of swelling (% EDS) were evaluated and there was drastic reduction in swelling and % EDS with the addition of ZnO nanoparticles to the PVA mixture. The l-ascorbic acid was loaded to the hydrogels and the release data was monitored by the absorption wavelength at 252 nm using UV. The drug release data was fitted to zero order, first order, Higuchi’s model, and Korsmeyer-Peppas’s model for the detailed analysis. The results suggest that ascorbic acid release from the hydrogel matrix follows the non-Fickian mechanism.