Alternative to History NCERT Books

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

All IAS Aspirants should read NCERT text books to cover History syllabus of IAS Preliminary and Mains exam. I have already listed the important NCERT Books for UPSC. In this post on NCERT books for IAS preparation I have suggested that you should refer old syllabus NCERTs for Ancient and Medieval Indian history. The NCERTs I am referring to are Ancient India by RS Sharma, Medieval India by Satish Chandra and Modern India by Bipin Chandra. Unfortunately, these old syllabus NCERTs are no longer in circulation and even used books are very hard to find for most aspirants.

For this reason I am suggesting alternatives to these History NCERT books written by the same renowned authors – RS Sharma, Satish Chandra and Bipin Chnadra that are available for purchase online and contain the same information as found in their NCERT versions.

India’s Ancient Past – RS Sharma

Recommended Book

The first book is India’s Ancient Past by RS Sharma, renowned authority on Ancient Indian history and author of the NCERT text book I referred to. A little excerpt about this book from its online page:

This book deals specifically with the origin of various empires and religious cultures in the growing periods of India. It also charts the beginnings of different geographical, linguistic, and ecological phenomenon.

Sharma also gives information regarding the cultures dominating in the Neolithic, Vedic periods and during the Harappan Civilization.

The book provides insights about the rise of religions such as Buddhism, Jainism, and others along with the development of territorial states. Breaking away from the traditional factual recording seen in history, India’s Ancient Past provides an easy-to-comprehend reading structure as it deals with several topics such as urbanization, Varna system, commerce, science, and much more.

Recommended Books for IAS

Get all the recommended Books for IAS Prelims and Mains exam in one place. Only the essential books for your UPSC preparation are listed on this page. Click Here

Sharma also assesses the transition periods from Ancient to Medieval and the changes that occurred as a result.

From this brief summary, we realize that Ancient Past by RS Sharma covers the entire scope of the old syllabus NCERT and goes even further into the transition between ancient and medieval past of India. A recommended read for not just Prelims but also Mains culture part.

History of Medieval India – Satish Chandra

The second book is History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra who had authored the old syllabus NCERT on medieval Indian history. From the page summary we know that:

Satish Chandra’s History of Medieval India is a comprehensive overview of the history of the Indian subcontinent during the thousand-year period between the eighth and the eighteenth century. History of Medieval India studies this interesting period in Indian history when the land underwent drastic changes, deeply influenced by the invading armies, Religious Movements and the vicissitudes of the changing political, economic and Cultural scene.

From the table of contents, we realize that History of Medieval India is much more detailed than the NCERT text book it replaces and will equip IAS aspirants with complete knowledge of India’s medieval history.

These books are timely replacements for the NCERT books that are no longer in circulation and the best part is, they are written by the same authors who authored the old syllabus NCERTs.

India’s Struggle for Independence – Bipin Chandra

The third NCERT book to refer is Modern History authored by Bipin Chandra. This book is also out of circulation. Fortunately, a much more elaborate book on modern Indian History than the NCERT text book by the same author is available. India’s Struggle for Independence starts from the revolt of 1857 in the 19th Century and continues till the Independence and partition phase. It covers the rise of nationalism, decline of indian capitalism, Gandhian era, Congress movement etc. in good detail. Struggle for Independence is a must read book for Prelims as well as Mains exam.

Reference Books for IAS

GS Solved Papers
General Studies Manual
Manorama Year Book
Oxford Student Atlas
Science and Technology

Topic-wise Books for IAS

Indian Polity Laxmikanth
Ecology and Environment
India's Struggle for Independence
Brief History of Modern India
Indian Art and Culture
Certificate Course in Geography

Subscribe to Updates!

Don't miss out on any IAS Preparation tips. Just enter your name and email to subscribe.

IAS Kracker

IAS Kracker is your friend, mentor and guide to help you crack the IAS exam. We have been guiding hundreds of IAS Aspirants since 2009 to help realize their dream of cracking the IAS exam. Know more about us.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 11 comments
Ansh D'Cruz - January 12, 2014

Does these books have their Hindi version too, if not please suggest some which are equivalent to these.

    IAS Kracker - January 12, 2014

    Unfortunately there are no Hindi versions of these books. Will post alternatives when I find them.



Ravi - January 21, 2014

these books are easily available in old rajinder nagar(delhi) market…

Ravi - January 22, 2014

ncert books

deepak garg - April 27, 2014

hello sir, i need one history book for my preparation i.e. “story of civilization Part I” old ncert class 9th. can you mail me please if you have ebook of the same.

Rajaram - July 17, 2014

Hello sir, for Ancient and medieval you mentioned alternative books here but forgot to mention modern history. along with India’s Struggle for Independence which NCERT book sould i read ? Now currently available only New book plz suggest any alternative for that or will i read new book or if you have old book in pdf ,plz send to me. that will helpful for all aspirant

Abhi - January 26, 2015


Thanks for the guidance.

Mr. Satish Chandra seems to have three different books on Medieval India. One seems to be standalone and two others are a part of a series. Here is the link:

Can you suggest which book/books to refer?

sandhiya - January 27, 2015


AZAZ AHMED - March 11, 2015

Dear sir i m a hindi medium aspirant for ias . the book you recommended for csat are in English. What i do . plz give me suggestion

Pardeep - February 15, 2016

Hi Sir..Thanks for your post.It is quite helpful.
do you have by any chance scanned copy of old ncert books which i can take a print out? Thank you.


Leave a Reply: