Abstract Continuous real-time measurements of aerosol scattering properties were investigated at Anantapur (14° 62′ N, 77° 65′ E, 331 m asl), a semi-arid region in southern India for the period of January 2011–December 2011, using a three-wavelength Integrating Nephelometer. Aerosols scattering properties like the scattering coefficient (σsp), backscattering coefficient (σbsp), scattering Ångstrom exponent (Å), backscattering ratio (bλ) and asymmetry parameter (gλ) were measured for the period of study. The average values of (±standard deviation) σsp, σbsp at 550 nm (σsp550, σbsp550) and Å(700/450) were found to be 97 (±9.2) M m−1 and 14 (±0.93) M m−1 and 1.02 (±0.3), respectively. The estimated average values of bλ and gλ at 550 nm from σsp550 and σbsp550 were 0.13 (±0.09) and 0.59 (±0.1), respectively. The maximum asymmetry parameter at 550 nm was found to be 0.63 ± 0.01 in the month of October and minimum (0.52 ± 0.03) during March, which shows the opposite trend with backscattering ratio. Significant correlation coefficients were noticed between different aerosol optical properties. The highest values of σsp550 were observed during weekdays whereas low values during weekends. Scattering Ångstrom exponent for the summer and winter seasons has been consistent with the input of fine mode particles from anthropogenic origin.