This paper presents the results of the lidar experiments that have been performed during January 1989 through August 1990 to study the aerosol vertical distributions in the nocturnal atmosphere and their comparison with near-simultaneous aerological soundings for environmental monitoring. During the study period, the aerosol distributions showed significant stratified aerosol layer structures in the lower atmosphere throughout the south-west monsoon season (June-September), while these structures appear to be either erratic or absent during remaining months of the year. In addition, the aerosols present in the lowest air layers up to 200 m are found to contribute significantly (about 40%) to the aerosol loading in the nocturnal boundary layer at the lidar site. The pre-monsoon to winter ratio of mixing depth and ventilation coefficient were found to be 1.11 and 1.62, respectively. Thus the height of the mixed layer (around 350 m) and the associated ventilation coefficients suggest that early winter evenings tend to have higher pollution potential at the experimental site. The results indicate that the lidar technique has the potential to yield good information on the structure of the nocturnal atmosphere which is found to be influenced by the atmospheric stability conditions as revealed by aerological observations.