Best Ancient History Books for UPSC: Here’s What You need to Study for Ancient History Syllabus
History is a crucial subject for your UPSC’s IAS examination. Studying history is a fun process as well as a great learning experience for you to know about our past, and culture of the days gone by.
While studying history, as with every other subject, you must try to align yourself well with the concepts that underlie the major happenings you’re reading about.
In this article, we will explore the ancient history syllabus and top ancient history books for UPSC which you must refer to.
Books as per Ancient History Prelims Syllabus
The majority of questions asked in your prelims will fall under the following topics: –
- Indian Culture
- Indian Art
- Ancient Indian History
- Medieval Indian History
- Modern Indian History
Now that we’ve seen the ancient Indian history syllabus, let us explore the best history books for UPSC that will help you in your preparation.
Ancient History Books for UPSC
The NCERT textbook will suffice to prepare for your prelims. These textbooks are a great source for gaining a foundational knowledge regarding the questions asked in the exams.
- Modern India By Bipan Chandra
- Medieval India By Satish Chandra
- Ancient India By Rs Sharma
- An Introduction To Indian Art
- Crafts Traditions Of India
- Theme In Indian History- I, III and III
Best History Books for UPSC for Mains
In the mains examination, you will be required to give answers in the essay format. To write a good essay, it is essential to have broad knowledge of your subject.
Ancient History Syllabus
- Indian culture : salient features of literature, architecture and art forms (from ancient to modern era)
- Modern Indian history : important people, crucial events, and issues from the mid 18th century till date
- The freedom struggle : stages, major personalities and their contributions
- Post independence era : consolidation and reorganization of India
- World history : colonization, world wars, industrial revolution, rebuilding national boundaries, political philosophies and decolonization.
Recommended Ancient History Books for UPSC Mains
|History Of Modern World||Mathur And Jain|
|India After Gandhi||Ramchandra Guha|
|History Of Modern India (Popular choice for modern history)||Bipan Chandra|
|India’s Struggle For Independence (Popular choice for modern history)||Bipan Chandra|
|India’s Ancient Past (Crucial for ancient history)||R S Sharma|
|Indian Art And Culture||Nitin Singhania|
|The Wonder That Was India||A L Bhasham|
|Mastering Modern World History||Norman Lowe|
Recommended Books for Ancient History Notes for UPSC from Optional Perspective
When choosing your optional, always go for a subject that you would enjoy studying. These topics will require you to remember the crucial events and dates; you do not have to go through long theories, concepts and principles.
A major portion of the history optional syllabus will be covered in the general studies section for mains as well.
The history optional is categorized into paper I and paper II. Each category carries 250 marks.
Ancient History Optional Syllabus
- Indus Valley Civilization
- Archaeological Sources
- Pre-history & Proto-history
- Megalithic Cultures
- Vedic Period And Aryan Period
- The Mahajanapadas Period
- The Spread Of Buddhism And Jainism
- The Mauryan Empire
- The Indo-greeks, The Sakas, The Kushanas, The Western Kshatrapas From The Post Mauryan Period
- Early Society In South India And Eastern India
- The Vardhanas, The Guptas And The Vakatakas
- The Gupta Era- Regional States
- The Early Indian Cultural History
- The Early Medieval India (750-1200)
- The Cultural Traditions Of India – Art, Literature, Architecture, Temple Architecture, Painting And Sculpture
- The Delhi Sultanate And Turkish Sultans
- The 13tha And 14th Century – Society, Economy And Culture
- The 15th And 16th Century – Society, Economy And Culture
- The 17th Century- Mughal Empire And Its Culture
- The 18th Century – Society, Economy And Culture
- The European Diffusion Into India
- The British Extension In India
- The Early Composition Of The Raj
- The British Colonial Rule And Its Impact
- The Social And Cultural Developments
- The Social And Religious Reforms And Movements In Bengal
- India’s Reaction To British Rule
- The Birth Of Indian Nationalism
- The Constitutional Developments In Colonial India
- The Gandhian Nationalism
- Consolidation Of India
- The Politics Of Separatism
- The Economic Development And Political Changes
- The Modern Ideas And Enlightenment
- The Origins Of Modern Politics
- Colonialism And Imperialism
- The Nation-state System
- The Revolution And Counter-revolution
Best Reference Books for UPSC History Mains Optional Preparation
|Mastering Modern World History (Popular choice for world history)||Norman Lowe|
|The Penguin History Of Early India: From The Origins To Ad 1300||Romila Thapar|
|A New Look At Modern Indian History : From 1707 To The Modern Times||B L Grover And Alka Mehta|
|History Of Medieval India||Satish Chandra|
|Age Of Revolution (1789-1848)||Eric Hobsbawm|
|History of Modern India||Bipan Chandra|
|Age Of Capital : 1848-1875||Eric Hobsbawm|
|India’s Ancient Past||Ram Sharan Sharma|
We hope all your doubts regarding the History syllabus as well as the right ancient history books for UPSC have been settled.
Once again, remember, history is a vast yet interesting subject to study. You must read your chapters to understand the underlying concepts, and make short notes of crucial dates, events and people.