Black carbon (BC) emissions from India for the year 2011 are estimated to be 901.11 ± 151.56 Gg yr−1 based on a new ground-up, GIS-based inventory. The grid-based, spatially resolved emission inventory includes, in addition to conventional sources, emissions from kerosene lamps, forest fires, diesel-powered irrigation pumps and electricity generators at mobile towers. The emissions have been estimated at district level and were spatially distributed onto grids at a resolution of 40 × 40 km2. The uncertainty in emissions has been estimated using a Monte Carlo simulation by considering the variability in activity data and emission factors. Monthly variation of BC emissions has also been estimated to account for the seasonal variability. To the total BC emissions, domestic fuels contributed most significantly (47 %), followed by industry (22 %), transport (17 %), open burning (12 %) and others (2 %). The spatial and seasonal resolution of the inventory will be useful for modeling BC transport in the atmosphere for air quality, global warming and other process-level studies that require greater temporal resolution than traditional inventories.