UPSC Mains exams preparation requires a few more books than prelims preparation. Below is the best book list for UPSC mains that every aspirant must checkout. So, let’s begin the hunt!

Culture – UPSC Mains Books List

The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham.

India’s Ancient Past – R.S. Sharma.

Indian Art and Culture – Nitin Singhania.

Also Read: Best General Studies Books for UPSC: How to Prepare General Studies for UPSC?

History Books for UPSC

History Of Modern India – Bipan Chandra.

India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipan Chandra.

India After Gandhi – Ramchandra Guha ( GS1)

Norman Lowe or History of Modern World – Jain and Mathur (World History – GS1)

Geography UPSC Books List

Geography of India – Majid Husain.

Oxford School Atlas – Oxford.

Certificate Physical and Human Geography – Goh Cheng Leong.

Also Read: Best Ancient History Books for UPSC: Here’s What You need to Study for Ancient History Syllabus

Other Best Books for UPSC Mains

Indian Polity for Civil Services Examinations – M. Laxmikanth. (Polity)

Important Judgments that Transformed India – Alex Andrews George (Constitution/Judiciary)

Indian Economy – Ramesh Singh. (Economy)

Economic Survey. (Economy)

Science and Technology in India – TMH. (Science and Technology)

Environmental Studies: From Crisis to Cure – Rajagopalan. (Environment)

Environment for Civil Services Prelims and Mains – Khuller. (Environment)

India Year Book (Current Affairs)

Manorama Yearbook. (Current Affairs)

Essays for Civil Services – Pulkit Khare (Essay Paper)

Social Problems In India – Ram Ahuja. (Indian Society – GS1)

IAS Mains General Studies Paper 2 (Arihant Manual – GS2)

UPSC Exam Books

Current Issues – What’s Hot Today (ClearIAS ebook – GS2)

Governance in India for CSE. (Governance – GS2)

Pax Indica – Shashi Tharoor. (Foreign Policy – GS2)

India and the World by Surendra Kumar. (Foreign Policy – GS2)

IAS Mains General Studies – GS3. (Arihant Manual – GS3)

India’s National Security: A Reader. (Internal Security – GS3)

Challenges to Internal Security of India. (Internal Security – GS3)

Lexicon for Ethics, Integrity, and Aptitude. ( Ethics – GS4)

IAS Mains General Studies – Ethics. ( Arihant Manual – GS4)

Useful IAS Books and Magazines for Reference

Best NCERT books.

Yojana Magazine

Kurukshetra Magazine

Pratiyogita Darpan Magazine.


Also Read: Best Essay Books for UPSC: Perfect the Art of IAS Essay Writing


Hopefully, this article will help you find the best books for UPSC mains and will surely take you one step ahead with your CSE preparation journey. Do share your thoughts in the comment section below and also let us know if you would like us to share more informative content like this. Best of luck!

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Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

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