Pneumococcal carriage studies are important for vaccine introduction and treatment strategies. Pneumococcal carriage rates estimated in this cohort study among children in a rural community of northern India. Between August 2012 and August 2014, trained nurses made weekly home visits to screen enrolled children aged <10 years for acute upper or lower respiratory infections (AURI/ALRI) in Ballabgarh, Haryana. Nasal swab from infants aged <1year and throat swab from children aged ≥1 year were collected. All specimens were cultured for pneumococci; isolates were serotyped and subjected to antimicrobial susceptibility testing. During the study period, 4348 nasal/throat swabs collected from children with clinical features of ARI (836 ALRI, 2492 AURI) and from 1020 asymptomatic children. Overall pneumococcal carriage was 5.1%, the highest carriage rate among children <1 year of age (22.6%). The detection rates were higher among children with ARI (5.6%; 95% CI: 4.8-6.4) than asymptomatic children (3.3%; 95% CI: 2.3-4.6). Among 220 pneumococcal isolates, 42 diverse serotypes were identified, with 6B/C (8.6%), 19A (7.2%), 19F (6.8%), 23F (6.4%), 35A/B/C (6.4%), 15B (5%), 14 (4.5%) and 11A/C/D (3.2%) accounting for 50%. Forty-five percent of the serotypes identified are included in the current formulation of 13- valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Ninety-six percent of isolates were resistant to cotrimoxazole, 9% were resistant to erythromycin, and 10% had intermediate resistance to penicillin with minimum inhibitory concentration ranges (0.125 to 1.5 μg/ml). Pneumococcal detection was relatively low among children in our study community but demonstrated a diverse range of serotypes and half of these serotypes would be covered by the current formulation of 13-valent pneumococcal vaccine. © 2020 This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.