A spatially resolved biomass burning data set, and related emissions of SO2 and aerosol chemical constituents was constructed for India, for 1996–1997 and extrapolated to the INDOEX period (1998–1999). Sources included biofuels (wood, crop waste and dungcake) and forest fires (accidental, shifting cultivation and controlled burning). PM emission factors were compiled from studies of Indian cooking stoves and from literature for open burning. BC and OM emissions were estimated from these, accounting for combustion temperatures in cooking stoves. SO2 emission factors were based on fuel sulphur content and reported literature measurements. Biofuels accounted 93% of total biomass consumption (577MTyr_1), with forest fires contributing only 7%. This is in contrary to global patterns, where forest fires are the primary and biofuels a negligible contributor. The biofuel-mixvaried across different regions, with a national average of 56 : 21 :23% for fuelwood, crop waste and dung-cake, respectively. The biomass consumption densities were high over the east-coast and north India, and low over central and western India. Sulphur dioxide emissions were 7% from biomass combustion, compared to 93% from fossil fuel combustion. This is in contrast to previous biomass contribution estimates of 19–23%, and results from more realistic SO2 emission factors, especially for dung-cake. Dung-cake results in higher SO2 emissions from its high sulphur content compared to other biomass types. The biomass combustion in India resulted in 2.04 Tg yr_1 of PM2.5 emissions, equal to that from fossil fuel combustion. Fuelwood was major contributor to particulate emissions from biomass combustion. The PM2.5 emission fluxes were high in east-coast and north India. The ‘‘inorganic fraction’’ of PM2.5 emissions was 0.86 Tg yr_1. Water-soluble inorganic ions, rather than mineral ash, are expected to constitute this ‘‘inorganic fraction’’, which must be verified through measurements. In India, biomass combustion was the major source of carbonaceous aerosol emissions, accounting 0.25 Tg yr_1 of BC (72% of total) and 0.94 Tg yr_1 of OM (76% of total). The low combustion temperatures in the domestic biomass cooking stoves result in particulate emissions with larger carbonaceous fraction, compared to hightemperature coal combustion. Among biomass, fuelwood and crop waste were primary contributors to BC emissions, while dung-cake and forest fires were primary contributors to OM emissions. While emissions from fossil fuel combustion arelocalised to large point sources (utilities, refineries and petrochemicals, cement and fertilisers) and major cities, emissions from biomass combustion are area sources spread all over India. The spatial variation in biomass consumption was accounted in estimating emissions. 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