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History paper 1 optional booklist for UPSC examination

These book are the toppers recommendation even we took suggetin form Ojha sir, Tanu jain mam about history optional booklist, so use this book for upsc history optional.

History Optional booklist

sources and booklist for history option

Archaeological sources

Exploration, excavationBalyan sir Ancient India handwritten notes

Balyan sir’s notes are very comprehensive for these two topics, He covers each and everything, the readability of these notes is pretty high, and you can easily understand the theme of exploration and excavation, These are highly recommended by toppers as well as teachers like Ojha sir and Tanu Jain man even Mrunal sir also recommended this notes.

epigraphy, numismaticsA history of Ancient and early medieval India by Upinder Singh

This a very thick and heavy book but do not worry just read the necessary portions of this book. But take a reading of this book to find out what to write in the exam paper, For ancient history this book is essential.

Indigenous: Primary and secondary; poetry,
scientific literature, literature,
literature in regional languages,
religious literature.
Balyan sir Ancient India handwritten notes

Again we use these Balyan sir notes these notes are pretty high-quality as we told you earlier. It is tough to read any particular book on one topic so use these notes.

Pre‐history and Pro-tohistory

Geographical factors; hunting and gathering,
(paleolithic and mesolithic)
Balyan sir notes / Upinder Singh

Both cover these chapters very comprehensively so you can use any of these but chose one source of information.

Beginning of agriculture (neolithic and chalcolithic)Map entries for history optional by Rashid Yasin

This book covers the entire map section including paleolithic, mesolithic, neolithic, Indus Valley, chalcolithic, Megalithic, Buddhist, Jain, the ancient capital, caves, and previous year’s question paper. This is an amazing book for the map section and you can rely on this book. This book explains each and everything very well, they use maps on one page and they explain these maps on another page.

Indus Valley Civilization

Origin, date, extent,
characteristics-decline, survival, and significance,
art and architecture.
Class 11th ancient India old ncert book

This class’s 11th-old ncert book explains these topics very well even you can directly use these facts and information on your answer sheet. If you read this old ncert book then you do not need any special book.

Megalithic Cultures

Distribution of pastoral and
farming cultures outside the Indus, Development
of community life, Settlements, Development of
agriculture, Crafts, Pottery, and Iron industry.

Use this website, they explain everything in a topic wise, download or get a printout of this page, some topper use this website for their Megalithical culture notes. They write this topic with bullet points and they also include images, This is a pretty good source for history optional.

Aryans and Vedic Period

Vedic Period: Religious
and philosophic literature; Transformation from
Rig Vedic period to the later Vedic period; Political,
social and economical life; Significance of the Vedic
Age; Evolution of Monarchy and Varna system.
Class 11th ancient India old ncert book

This old ncert book provides you with all the information that you need on this topic, even in the years 2016, 2018, 2020 & 2022 direct question do some from this book. You can depend on this book blindly.

Period of Mahajanapadas

Republics and monarchies;
Rise of urban centres; Trade routes; Economic growth;
Introduction of coinage; Spread of Jainism and Buddism;
Rise of Magadha and Nandas.Iranian and Mecedonian
invasions and their impact
Class 11th ancient India old ncert book

Same as above this book is a masterpeace for history option students.

Mauryan Empire

Foundation of the Mauryan Empire,
Chandragupta, Kautilya and Arthashastra; Ashoka;
Concept of Dharma; Edicts; Polity, Administration,
Economy; Art, architecture and sculpture;
External contacts; Religion; Spread of religion;
Class 11th ancient / Upinder Singh

Use both of these books but your main book should be Upinder Singh’s book because this book covers the entire Mauryan empire very well and it in detail book. Use the old ncert book for reference only.

Post‐Mauryan Period (Indo‐Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas, Western Kshatrapas) :

Contact with outside world; growth of
urban centres, economy, coinage,
development of religions, Mahayana,
social conditions, art, architecture,
culture, literature and science
Tamil nadu board old ncert book of class 11th

This book covers the entire post-Mauryan period, this book has enough materials that you need for only this topic. Do not read the entire book but use this book for reference.

Early State and Society in Eastern India, Deccan and South India

The Satavahanas, Tamil States of the
Sangam Age; Administration,
Economy, land grants, coinage,
trade guilds and urban centres;
Buddhist centres; Sangam literature and culture;
Art and architecture.
Tamil Nadu board old ncert book of class 11th

Again on this topic, this Tamilnadu old nert book provides you with truly knowledgeable sources of information about early states and societies in east India, Deccan, and south India. If you use this book then you do not need any other source of information.

Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas

Polity and administration, Economic conditions,
Coinage of the Guptas, Land grants,
Decline of urban centres, Indian feudalism,
Caste system, Position of women,
Education and educational institutions;
Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi,
Literature, scientific literature,
art and architecture.
Class 11th ancient India old ncert and

Combining the class 11th ncert book and selfstudyhistory website, ncert should be your main source, and use this website for in-depth knowledge, this should be enough for this part.

Regional States during Gupta Era

The Kadambas, Pallavas, Chalukyas of Badami;
Polity and Administration, Trade guilds,
Literature; growth of Vaishnava and Saiva religions.
Tamil Bhakit movement, Shankaracharya;
Vedanta; Institutions of temple and temple
architecture; Palas, Senas, Rashtrakutas, Paramaras,
Polity and administration; Cultural aspects.
Arab conquest of Sind; Alberuni, The Chaluky
as of Kalyana, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pandyas; Polity
and Administration; Local Government; Growth of
art and architecture, religious sects, Institution of
temple and Mathas, Agraharas, education and literature,
economy and society.
Tamilnadu board old ncert of class 12th

you can use the Tamilnadu board ncert book for this, This is the main source for this topic.

Themes in Early Indian Cultural History

Languages and texts, major stages in the
evolution of art and architecture,
major philosophical thinkers and schools,
ideas in Science and Mathematics
Medieval India old ncert by Satish Chandra

This topic is comprehensively covered by Satish Chandra’s old ncert book, so many UPSC toppers refer to this book.

 Early Medieval India, 750‐1200

Polity: Major political developments
in Northern India and the peninsula,
origin and the rise of Rajputs.
The Cholas: administration,
village economy and society
“Indian Feudalism,Agrarian economy
and urban settlements,Trade and
commerce,the status of the Brahman
and the new social order,Condition
of women,Indian science and technology.
A history of Ancient and early medieval India by Upinder Singh

This book covers each of these chapters very comprehensively so don’t go for another source of information.

 Cultural Traditions in India, 750‐1200

Philosophy: Skankaracharya and Vedanta,
Ramanuja and Vishishtadvaita, Madhva
and Brahma-Mimansa,
Medival India by SatishChandra

Yes, again Satish Chandra, covers this topic and you will get in-depth knowledge from this book.

Religion: Forms and features of religion,
Tamil devotional cult, growth of Bhakti,
Islam and its arrival in India, Sufism,
Medival India by Satish Chandra

This book covers these topics amazingly, so detailed and throw the book, If you read this book then I think you do not need any special materials.

Literature: Literature in Sanskrit,
growth of Tamil literature, literature
in the newly developing languages,
Kalhan’s Rajtarangini, Alberuni’s India.
Themes of Indian History class 11th ncert

An amazing source for the Literature part, every detail is covered by this book, easy to understand and This book only has 258 pages, with full of information.

The Thirteenth Century

Establishment of the Delhi Sultanate:
The Ghurian invasions – factors behind
Ghurian success, Economic, Social and
cultural consequences, Foundation of
Delhi Sultanate and early Turkish Sultans,
Consolidation: The rule of Iltutmish and Balban
Satish Chandra’s book

One advice that i want to give you that limit your source of information, for this part use satish chandras book.

The Fourteenth Century

The Khalji Revolution
Alauddin Khalji: Conquests
and territorial expansion, agrarian and economic measure
Muhammad Tughluq: Major projects, agrarian measures,
bureaucracy of Muhammad Tughluq
Firuz Tugluq: Agrarian measures, achievements in civil
engineering and public works, decline of the Sultanate,
foreign contacts and Ibn Battuta’s account
Satish chandra’s book

Yes, this book is a masterpeace so use this book as much as possible.

Society, Culture and Economy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries:

Society: composition of rural society,
ruling classes, town dwellers, women,
religious classes, caste and slavery under the
Sultanate, Bhakti movement, Sufi movement

Culture: Persian literature, literature in the
regional languages of North India,
literaute in the languages of South India,
Sultanate architecture and new structural forms,
painting, evolution of a composite culture

Economy: Agricultural Production, rise of
urban economy and non-agricultural
production, trade and commerce.
Balyan sir hand written class notes

The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century‐Political Developments and Economy

Rise of Provincial Dynasties : Bengal, Kashmir (Zainul Abedin), Gujarat.
Malwa, Bahmanids
The Vijayanagara Empire
Mughal Empire, first phase : Babur, Humayun
The Sur Empire : Sher Shah’s administration
Portuguese colonial enterprise, Bhakti and Sufi
Satish Chandra book

The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century‐ Society and culture

Regional cultures specificities
Literary traditions
Provincial architectural
Society, culture, literature and the arts
in Vijayanagara Empire
Satish chandra book

For these two topic use this medical india book by satish chandra


Conquests and consolidation of empire
Establishment of jagir and mansab systems
Rajput policy
Evolution of religious and social outlook.
Theory of Sulh‐i‐kul and religious policy
Court patronage of art and technology.
Satish Chandra

 Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century

Major administrative policies of
Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb
The Empire and the Zamindars
Religious policies of Jahangir,
Shahjahan and Aurangzeb
Nature of the Mughal State
Late Seventeenth Century crisis and the revolts
The Ahom kingdom.
Shivaji and the early Maratha Kingdom
SSatish Chandra Part 2

Economy and society, in the 16th and 17th Centuries

Population Agricultural and craft production
Towns, commerce with Europe through Dutch,
English and French companies : a trade revolution
Indian mercantile classes. Banking, insurance
and credit systems
Conditions of peasants, Condition of Women.
Evolution of the Sikh community and the Khalsa Panth
Satish Chandra part 2

Culture during Mughal Empire

Persian histories and other literature
Hindi and religious literatures.
Mughal architecture
Mughal painting
Provincial architecture and painting
Classical music
Science and technology
Satish Chandra part 2

The Eighteenth Century

Factors for the decline of the Mughal Empire
The regional principalities: Nizam’s Deccan, Bengal, Awadh
Maratha ascendancy under the Peshwas
The Maratha fiscal and financial system.
Emergence of Afghan power Battle of Panipat, 1761
State of, political, cultural and economic, on eve of the
British conquest
Satish Chandra part 2

History paper 2 optional booklist for UPSC examination

European Penetration into India

The Early European Settlements;
The Portuguese and the Dutch;
The English and the French East
India Companies; Their struggle for
supremacy; Carnatic Wars; Bengal-The conflict
between the English and the Nawabs of Bengal;
Siraj and the English; The Battle of Plassey;
Significance of Plassey
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

This book should be enough for this part, Bipin Chandra covers everything on this topic.

British Expansion in India

Bengal-Mir Jafar and Mir Kasim;
The Battle of Buxar; Mysore; The
Marathas; The three Anglo-Maratha
Wars; The Punjab.
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

 Early Structure of the British Raj

The Early administrative structure;
From diarchy to direct control;
The Regulating Act (1773);
The Pitt’s India Act (1784);
The Charter Act (1833);
The Voice of free trade
and the changing character
of British colonial rule; The English
utilitarian and India.
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule

(a) Land revenue settlements
in British India; The Permanent
Settlement; Ryotwari Settlement;
Mahalwari Settlement; Economic
impact of the revenue arrangements;
Commercialization of agriculture;
Rise of landless agrarian labourers;
Impoverishment of the rural society.
(b) Dislocation of traditional trade
and commerce; De-industrialisation;
Decline of traditional crafts; Drain of
wealth; Economic transformation of
India; Railroad and communication
network including telegraph and
postal services; Famine and
poverty in the rural interior;
European business enterprise
and its limitations

In spectrum this chapter covers very well.

Social and Cultural Developments

The state of indigenous education,
its dislocation; Orientalist-Anglicist
controversy, The introduction of
western education in India;
The rise of press, literature and
public opinion; The rise of
modern vernacular literature;
Progress of Science; Christian
missionary activities in India

Social and Religious Reform Movements in Bengal and Other Areas

Ram Mohan Roy, The Brahmo
Movement; Devendranath Tagore;
Iswarchandra Vidyasagar;
The Young Bengal Movement;
Dayanada Saraswati; The social
reform movements in India including Sati,
widow remarriage, child marriage etc.;
The contribution of Indian renaissance
to the growth of modern India; Islamic
revivalism-the Feraizi and Wahabi Movements
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

 Indian Response to British Rule

Peasant movement and tribal
uprisings in the 18th and 19th
centuries including the Rangpur
Dhing (1783), the Kol Rebellion (1832),
the Mopla Rebellion in Malabar (1841-1920), the
Santal Hul (1855), Indigo Rebellion (1859-60),
Deccan Uprising (1875) and the Munda Ulgulan
(1899-1900); The Great Revolt of 1857 —
Origin, character, casuses of failure, the
consequences; The shift in the character of
peasant uprisings in the post-1857 period;
the peasant movements of the 1920s and 1930s.
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism

Politics of Association; The
Foundation of the Indian
National Congress; The
Safety-valve thesis relating
to the birth of the Congress;
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

Factors leading to the birth of Indian Nationalism

Politics of Association; The
Foundation of the Indian
National Congress; The
Safety-valve thesis relating
to the birth of the Congress
Programme and objectives of
Early Congress; the social composition
of early Congress leadership;
the Moderates and Extremists;
The Partition of Bengal (1905);
The Swadeshi Movement in Bengal;
the economic and political aspects
of Swadeshi Movement; The beginning
of revolutionary extremism in India
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

Rise of Gandhi

Character of Gandhian nationalism;
Gandhi’s popular appeal; Rowlatt
Satyagraha; the Khilafat Movement;
the Non-cooperation Movement;
National politics from the end of
the Non-cooperation movement
to the beginning of the Civil
Disobedience Movement; the
two phases of the Civil Disobedience Movement;
Simon Commission; The Nehru Report;
the Round Table Conferences;
Nationalism and the Peasant
Movements; Nationalism and Working
class movements; Women and Indian
youth and students in Indian politics
(1885-1947); the election of 1937 and
the formation of ministries; Cripps Mission;
the Quit India Movement; the Wavell Plan;
The Cabinet Mission. 
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra
Constitutional Developments
in the Colonial India between
1858 and 1935
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

 Other strands in the National Movement

The Revolutionaries: Bengal,
the Punjab, Maharashtra,
U.P. the Madras Presidency,
Outside India,
The Left; The Left within
the Congress: Jawaharlal Nehru,
Subhas Chandra Bose, the
Congress Socialist Party;
the Communist Party of India,
other left parties.
Modern Indian history by Bipin chandra

Politics of Separatism

the Muslim League; the Hindu
Mahasabha; Communalism
and the politics of partition;
Transfer of power; Independence

Consolidation as a Nation

Nehru’s Foreign Policy;
India and her neighbours
(1947-1964); The linguistic
reorganisation of States
(1935-1947); Regionalism
and regional inequality;
Integration of Princely
States; Princes in electoral
politics; the Question of
National Language
India since Independence by Bipin Chandra

 Caste and Ethnicity after 1947

Backward Castes and Tribes in
post-colonial electoral
politics; Dalit movements.
India since Independence by Bipin Chandra

Economic development and political change

Land reforms; the politics of planning and
rural reconstruction; Ecology and
environmental policy in post-colonial
India; Progress of Science.
Indian economic development class 11th ncert book

Enlightenment and Modern ideas

Major Ideas of Enlightenment: Kant, Rousseau
Spread of Enlightenment in the colonies
Rise of socialist ideas (up to Marx); spread of Marxian Socialism
Mastering Modern World History by Norman Law

Origins of Modern Politics

European States System
American Revolution and the Constitution
French Revolution and Aftermath, 1789-1815
American Civil War with reference to Abraham Lincoln and the abolition of slavery
British Democratic politics, 1815-1850 : Parliamentary Reformers, Free Traders, Chartists
Mastering Modern World History by Norman Law


English Industrial Revolution : Causes and Impact on Society.
Industrialization in other countries : USA, Germany, Russia, Japan
Industrialization and Globalization
Norman Law

Nation‐State System

Rise of Nationalism in 19th century
Nationalism : State-building in Germany and Italy
 Disintegration of Empires in the face of the emergence of nationalities across the World.
Norman Law

 Imperialism and Colonialism

South and South-East Asia.
Latin America and South Africa
 Imperialism and free trade: Rise of neo-imperialism.
Norman Law

Revolution and Counter‐Revolution

19th Century European revolutions
The Russian Revolution of 1917-1921
Fascist Counter-Revolution, Italy and Germany.
The Chinese Revolution of 1949
Norman Law

World Wars 

1st and 2nd World Wars as Total Wars :
Societal implications
World War I : Causes and Consequences
World War II : Causes and Consequences
Norman Law

The World after World War II

Emergence of Two power blocs
Emergence of Third World and non-alignment.
 UNO and the global disputes.
Norman Law

Liberation from Colonial Rule

Latin America-Bolivar
Arab World-Egypt.
Africa-Apartheid to Democracy
South-East Asia-Vietnam
Norman Law

Decolonization and Underdevelopment 

Factors constraining Development ; Latin America, AfricaNorman Law

Unification of Europe

Post War Foundations ; NATO and European Community.
Consolidation and Expansion of European Community
European Union.
Norman Law

Disintegration of Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World

Factors leading to the collapse of Soviet
Communism and Soviet Union, 1985-1991
Political Changes in East Europe 1989-2001
End of the Cold War and US Ascendancy
in the World as the lone superpower.
Norman Law