We present long-term measurements of sub-micron particle number size distributions (PNSDs) conducted at an urban location, Kanpur, in India, from September 2007 to July 2011. The mean Aitken mode (NAIT), accumulation mode (NACCU), the total particle (NTOT), and black carbon (BC) mass concentrations were 12.4×103cm-3, 18.9×103cm-3, 31.9×103cm-3, and 7.96μgm-3, respectively, within the observed range at other urban locations worldwide, but much higher than those reported at urban sites in the developed nations. The total particle volume concentration appears to be dominated mainly by the accumulation mode particles, except during the monsoon months, perhaps due to efficient wet deposition of accumulation mode particles by precipitation. At Kanpur, the diurnal variation of particle number concentrations was very distinct, with highest during morning and late evening hours, and lowest during the afternoon hours. This behavior could be attributed to the large primary emissions of aerosol particles and temporal evolution of the planetary boundary layer. A distinct seasonal variation in the total particle number and BC mass concentrations was observed, with the maximum in winter and minimum during the rainy season, however, the Aitken mode particles did not show a clear seasonal fluctuation. The ratio of Aitken to accumulation mode particles, NAIT/NACCU, was varied from 0.1 to 14.2, with maximum during April to September months, probably suggesting the importance of new particle formation processes and subsequent particle growth. This finding suggests that dedicated long-term measurements of PNSDs (from a few nanometer to one micron) are required to systematically characterize new particle formation over the Indian subcontinent that has been largely unstudied so far. Contrarily, the low NAIT/NACCU during post-monsoon and winter indicated the dominance of biomass/biofuel burning aerosol emissions at this site. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.