List of Books for History Optional

This is a list of books recommended for those preparing for the History Optional paper of the UPSC Civil Services Examination. The books included in this list provide a comprehensive overview of the topics covered in the exam and provide students with the necessary guidance to score well.


  • New NCERTs from VI to XII.
  • S. Sharma – NCERT Ancient India
  • Satish Chandra: NCERT Medieval India
  • Bipan Chandra: NCERT Modern India
  • OLD NCERTs for World History

Ancient India

  • S. Sharma : India’s Ancient Past –OXFORD Press
  • N.Jha: Ancient India in Historical Outline
  • Upinder Singh : A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India
  • Romila Thapar : The Penguin History of Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300.
  • NIOS Material
  • IGNOU Notes

Medieval India

  • Satish Chandra : History of Medieval India Vol I and Vol II
  • L. Mehta: Advanced Study In The History Of Medieval India: Vol I, II and III
  • IGNOU Notes

Modern India

  • Bipan Chandra (NCERT) – History of Modern India.
  • Bipan Chandra – India’s Struggle For Independence
  • Sekhar Bandyopadhyay – From Plassey to Partition
  • Bipan Chandra – India After Independence
  • L. Grover and Mehta – A New Look At Modern Indian History

Modern World

  • Arjun Dev : History of the World
  • Mukherjee : EUROPE-Since The French Revolution ( 1740 – 1950 )
  • Norman Lowe : Mastering Modern World History
  • Jain and Mathur: A History of Modern World

View the History Optional Foundation Course.

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