The present work analyzes the aerosol episode (AE) days and examines the modification in aerosol properties and radiative forcing during the period 2001-2010 based on Kanpur-AERONET data. AEs are defined as the days having daily-mean aerosol optical depth (AOD) above the decadal mean+1 STD (standard deviation); the threshold value is defined at 0.93. The analysis identifies 277 out of 2095 days (13.2\%) of AEs over Kanpur, which are most frequently observed during post-monsoon (78 cases, 18.6\%) and monsoon (76, 14.7\%) seasons due to biomass-burning episodes and dust influence, respectively. On the other hand, the AEs during winter and pre-monsoon are lesser in both absolute and percentage values (65, 12.5\% and 58, 9.1\%, respectively). The modification in aerosol properties on the AE days is strongly dependent on season; during post-monsoon and winter, the AEs are associated with enhanced presence of fine-mode aerosols from anthropogenic emissions and/or biomass burning, while during pre-monsoon and monsoon seasons, they are mostly associated with dust. Aerosol radiative forcing (ARF) calculated using SBDART shows much more surface (~-69 to-97Wm-2) and Top of Atmosphere cooling (-20 to-30Wm-2) as well as atmospheric heating (~43 to 71Wm-2) during the AE days as compared to seasonal means. These forcing values are mainly controlled by the higher AODs and the modified aerosol characteristics (Angstrom Exponent α, single scattering albedo SSA) during the AE days in each season. Furthermore, the vertical profiles of aerosols and atmospheric radiative heating exhibit significant increase in lower and mid troposphere during the AE days. This may cause serious climate implications over Ganges Basin and surrounding regions with further consequences on cloud microphysics, monsoon rainfall and melting of Himalayan glaciers. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.