Indian history is one of the most important subject in upsc exam. Indian history cover more than 10% Prelims question papers and a complete General Studies paper 1.
Books are integral part of UPSC civil service exam preparation and selection of right books is key to get early success. So before going to buy any books for Indian history subjects, read this article to know more details about books.
Indian history is further divided into three sub-section which are known as Ancient history, Medieval history and Modern history.
There are large number of books on various history subject but all books are not suggested for upsc civil service exam.
As per UPSC civil service exam pattern and its nature, students need very specific book for each section of Indian history which must be cover complete upsc history syllabus in detail.
There is no use of reading those books which do not cover Indian history syllabus. It is also advised to read one or two books for one section, not more than that, it will only take extra time.
We have made a list of most useful indian history books for prelims and mains exam for you. These books are selected based on the recommendation of IAS toppers and coaching institutes.
These books are read by thousands of students every year to clear every stage of civil service exam. You can trust these book without second thought and start preparing for the exam.
Indian History Syllabus For Prelims and Mains-
Prelims paper-01 and Mains General studies paper 01 has Indian history portion. if you choose History optional then you will have to read Indian and world history for both the optional papers.
Indian Art & Culture-
Indian art & culture consists topics like art forms, literature , ancient monuments , dance forms , music , folk dance etc.
Indian art and culture has some portion in prelims as well as mains syllabus. Preparing art and culture with ncert is good idea, once you read ncerts from class 6th to 12th for art & culture
You can go for a beautiful book by Nitin Singhania which is very well written. This book page quality is very good and written in very systematic way so that you read and understand it easily.
Indian Modern History-
Modern history covers topics from 1500 to 1945, In this era many events occurred. Events like Formation of INC, Moderates and Extremist, Partition
Role of Bengal/Surat Split, Muslim league, Lucknow pact, Minto-Morley/Montagu-Chelmsford , Arrival of European powers, Indian freedom struggle moments etc.
World History Topics-
World history cover topics like Industrial revolution, world war-I, world war -II, cold war,political philosophies, Russian Revolution,French Revolution Imperialism,Nazism,Fascism,Unification of Italy,Unification of Germany,Uni-Polar World,Disintegration of USSR etc.
Indian History Books- Ancient History
Indian ancient history subject preparation needs some extra efforts other than reading core book, you need to revise your old/ new ncerts of class 6ht to 12th.
If you read NCERTs along with core books, you can score very good marks in both the stages of civil service exam.
1- NCERT Books-
2-Indian History Ancient Book By R S Sharma.
Indian history Ancient period start from (60,000 BCE – 650 CE) to cover ancient history a book by R S Sharma is one of the recommended book by expert along with NCERT books. Thousands students read this book to cover ancient history portion.
The book is well written in easy to read with picture which helps students to memorise facts and figure easily for long time. This book is worth reading for Ancient history subject. Buy Book here.
3-Indian History Books- Medieval History
Indian modern history can be covered from NCERT books, class 6th to 12th ncert books are helpful in studying medieval portion of Indian history. If you want add some core books apart from NCERT , you can go for a book A History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra.
This book cover medieval history portion of Indian history in details, you read this books along with NCRET pack from class 6th to 12th. If you read this combination you can easily prepare medieval section of indian history for upsc exam.
If you wan to read one book for ancient and medieval history , Mac Graw Hill publication book is right choice for you. Here you can buy it online. Buy
Indian History Books-Modern History
Modern history period is divided into Two section- Early Modern History (1500 to 1750) and Late Modern History starts from (1750 to 1945) and after that Contemporary period which is from 1945 to to till today,
modern history comprises most of the history question in prelims and mains exam. You are advised to prepare modern history section well in details to score high in the exam.
How to approach to modern history- There is very well defined approach to study Indian modern history where we start reading NCERT books of history subject from 6th class to 12th class.
While reading NCERT books , it is useful to make notes for later revision. Once you finish NCERT history books, you can start reading modern history core books which i have mentioned below.
1- Modern History By Spectrum Publication
This is amazing book to cover modern history portion in detail, the books is well written by Rajiv Ahir and one of the best seller book on amazon because of its popularity. This book is small in size but the cover almost every area of modern history section.
The book is written in very systematic way so that you can easily read and understand the content of the book. This book can be finished in a month if considerable time is devoted to it.
2- Modern History by Mc Graw Hill Publication.
This book cover modern history syllabus of upsc civil service exam in detail. This book is also useful for mains exam too. This book has also some useful extra stuff which is helpful to prepare modern history more easily. Here are some key features of this book which are really useful for student. Here is the list- Buy It Here
- Chronological narrative to help readers understand the development of historical events.
- The only book with a primer on Post Independence India
- Multi-dimensional coverage and analysis
- Modern Indian History is divided into 7 Units namely-
- Unit1- Mid-18th Century India
- Unit2-British Expansion and Consolidation in India (1767-1857)
- Unit3-Changes and Impact (Mid-18th to Mid-19th Century)
- Unit 4-Popular Uprisings and Revolts
- Unit5- Socio-Religious Reform Movements
- Unit6- Indian National Movement-Part 1 (Emergence of Organized Nationalism)
- Unit 7-Indian National Movement-Part 2 (Towards Freedom)
- Previous Years’ Questions (Preliminary and Main)
- Practice Question (Preliminary and Main (Source- Amazon Website)
Indian History Books for Optional Subjects-
Choosing history subject as optional is wise decision because you can prepare multiple papers if you read history deeply. History subject has role in prelims papers 01 , Mains paper-01 and optional.
We know that prelims exam is totally different in nature than mains exam so the requirement of both the stages is also different.
Where prelims exam demands more factual knowledge about any topics , in mains questions are more about detailed and analytical information. Thats why selection of books is also differ in mains then prelims exam.
History optional exam has two papers which each consists of 250 marks, to score high in history optional subject you have to prepare it smartly. So choose books wisely for history optional and avoid useless books which do not cover history syllabus as per upsc exam.
Indian History books for mains exam includes books which we read in prelims and some specialised books which are topics based should be read for mains exam.
- Ancient History-A history of Ancient and early medieval india by UPINDER SINGH
- Medieval History-History of Medieval India ( Mentioned Above)
- NCERT Books from class 6th to 12th( Mentioned above)
- OLD NCERT BOOKS – 1) Ancient India- R.S. SHARMA (CLASS-11), 2) Medieval India – SATISH CHANDRA
- World History–Age Of Capital: 1848-1875 (History of Civilization)
- Modern History-The Indian Struggle ( 1920–1942 )
- Ancient History-India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma
- India and the Contemporary World – 2 Textbook in History for Class – 10 – 1066
- Mastering Modern World History (Macmillan Master Series)