4 Useful Books to study History for IAS Prelims Exam

History subject has very good importance in General Studies Paper 1 of IAS Prelims Examination. The UPSC History part consists of History of India, Indian Culture and Modern Indian History from 1800 to Freedom Struggle.

Suggested History Books – UPSC Civil Services Exam

In this post most recommended books by IAS Toppers are included to prepare for UPSC Civil Services Exam. Links are given to buy suggested Books from Online Offer Price.

1. India’s Ancient Past- RS SharmaHistory Books - India's Ancient Past

Authoritative  history book(s) on ancient history of India It’s definitely one of the best books in the market about ancient history of India. The writer is reputed and tries to put a holistic view about the subject. Click to buy online: India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma. (Ancient History)

2. History of Medieval India – Sathish Chandra

 History of Medieval India by Sathish Chandra

Though UPSC focuses more on Modern History the most but for a clear understanding of Medieval Era, this book is the best to read. A few Questions is also can expect from this part. Click to buy Online : History of Medieval India by Sathish Chandra.


3.India’s struggle for independence by Bipan ChandraIndia's Struggle for Indipendence

This is a very good book for modern part.This book little bit fatty and time consuming but it will give you broad knowledge about the topic. This book can read like a novel,explains holistically each and every happenings of freedom struggle period. Click to Buy Online : India’s Struggle for Independence.

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  • If you have less time then prefer Brief History of Modern India Brief History of Modern India . It covers all aspects relating to social reforms during 19th century and pre-independence movements during 20th century. In other words it is a summary of Bipan Chandra’s struggle for independence.

4. Indian art and culture by Nitin SinghaniaArt and Culture by Nitin Singhania

For culture part of IAS Exam, Best book to study art and culture .. Its a resource material you just cannot avoid for UPSC . Illustrated with pictures, reading and studying from this book itself is a wonderful learning experience in itself.

This is a comprehensive book on Indian culture that covers various aspects of Indian culture like religion, philosophy, music, art, literature, cinema etc. Besides these, it covers several solved and unsolved questions for practice and revision. Most of the questions for Indian heritage are triggered from here.  Click to buy online: Indian Art and Culture by Nitin Singhania. (Culture)

Additional UPSC History Books

  1.  A Brief History of Modern India – Spectrum (Use for faster revision).
  2. Facets of Indian Culture – Spectrum.
  3. The Wonder That Was India – A.L. Bhasham. (If u don’t want to read Ancient culture of India from scratch then go for AL Bashams Book.)
  4. From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India.

Also read : Civil Service Books for UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam

Must read NCERT Books for History in IAS Prelims

Approach for Indian History

Firstly which you need to do is to skim through the syllabus ..If u will see the syllabus then it consists of  Culture, Indian History and Indian National Movements.

Starting with  NCERTs  is the most accepted approach towards any subject for IAS Exam preparation because they will provide  the foundation of your further advance books then, here are some books which will cover almost all the part of the syllabus. For detailed approach : Click here.

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