How To Prepare Ancient History For UPSC?

History is one of the most important subjects for the IAS Exam. Here, We are going to Provide Ancient History Notes For UPSC. However Indian History for UPSC is a very vast subject covering the following areas:

  • Ancient Indian History
  • Medieval Indian History
  • Modern Indian History

Can I skip ancient history for UPSC?

Ancient History contributes at least 4 – 5 questions in the UPSC Prelims. Many aspirants ignore Ancient and medieval History(as they don’t know UPSC Ancient History Syllabus and ignoring this subject ) and focus more on Modern History.

In UPSC Mains, History is part of the General Studies Paper I syllabus. However, there are no direct questions on Ancient History unless they can be linked to Art and Culture. For e.g. the 2017 UPSC Mains GS I paper had a question regarding the decline of numismatic art in India after the Gupta period.

Ancient India

This is a harmful strategy as you know that in UPSC every single marks matter and you can fail to clear the cut-off marks for Prelims just by 0.5 marks

Also, Ancient History can give you that edge. Also, History is a continuous flow of events. In order to better understand Modern History, we need to have clarity about Ancient History also. Here we are going to Provide How to Prepare Ancient History For UPSC?


1. Sources of Ancient History
2. Prehistoric cultures in India
3. Indus Valley Civilization
5. Religious Movements
6. Mahajanapadas
7. Rise of Magadha
8. The Mauryan Empire
9. Post Mauryan Period
10. Megalithic Culture
11. Sangam texts and society
12. The Guptas Empire
13. Pushyabhuti Dynasty
14. Chalukya Of Badami
15. Pallava Of Kanchi
16. Harshavardhan
17. Southern Dynasties

Sources to be followed For Ancient History:

  1. Tamilnadu board 11th History book or Ancient India by R.S . SHARMA

  2. Previous year questions(V. imp For Ancient India )


#Bonus: Important Topics to be Focused On:

  1. Literary and Archaeological records and the analysis of various battles.
  2. Art and culture of the particular Dynasty
    • eg. Temple architecture, paintings, sculptures, etc.
  3. Social aspects of Ancient India like the status of women, professions, caste, etc.
  4. Ancient / Medieval terms used during Those Times.
  5. Buddhism, Jainism
  6. Foreign travelers and their observations about India

For Any Further Information, you can refer official website here:UPSC OFFICIAL WEBSITE