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Recommended Geography Books for IAS Exam

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Last Updated on April 8 2014

Geography is the second most popular optional opted by IAS aspirants after Public Administration. In fact Geography and Pub Ad is quite a popular optional combination as well. The reasons for Geography being a popular optional are the well defined syllabus, its semi-scientific nature, map based questions that are easy to score off. No wonder Geography fetches good marks in the IAS Mains exam.

But to score well you need to study the recommended books as well. So which are the Geography books highly recommended by successful IAS aspirants? Find out below.

Comprehensive Geography by D.R Khullar

Whenever you start preparing a subject don’t dive into a specialized topic straightaway rather learn more about the subject as a whole, its key concepts so you can identify its important sections and plan accordingly. For this reason Khullar’s Comprehensive Geography is such a nice introduction about the key concepts of Geography.

From physiography, climate, environment to transport, agriculture, and foreign trade, Comprehensive Geography is truly comprehensive in scope. Written with a focus on India, this book for geography is equally useful and recommended for both, paper 1 and 2. Beginners to Geography should especially go through this book to get a hang of the subject.

Physical Geography by Savindra Singh

Physical Geography is a highly recommended book for physical geography by people who have emerged successful in the civil services exam. Physical Geography by Savindra Singh covers all relevant topics relating to physical geography like Earth’s origin, age, its structure, movements and physical features like rocks, plateaus, plains.  Apart from this it covers all the topics relating to Atmosphere and Hydrosphere.

If you take a look at the Geography syllabus, you will realize Physical Geography covers a good part of Geomorphology, Climatalogy, and Oceanography. A must read book for Geography paper 1.

 Geography through Maps by K Siddhartha

If you look at the Geography paper 2 syllabus you will notice it mentions

Candidates will be required to answer one compulsory map question pertinent to subjects covered by this paper

So candidates will surely encounter one map based question in the Geography paper. But you shouldn’t let go of this golden opportunity to score some easy marks by practicing maps through K Siddhartha’s Geography through Maps. K Siddhartha is a renowned coach for geography and his classes in Delhi at Ensemble are much in demand. In Geography through Maps the picture of the whole world has been presented in a sequential manner so that at no point the reader finds it monotonous, dull or uninteresting. In fact K Siddhartha has ensured that by studying Geography through Maps students will be able to locate places and natural resource regions easily and thus score guaranteed marks in the IAS mains exam.

Human Geography by Majid Hussain

The second paper focuses on Indian geography in relation to the human aspects of population, urbanization, planning, economy and so on. Human Geography looks into these aspects very lucidly. The book contains detailed maps and diagrams to aid your learning and contains references from the developed and developing parts of the world. Human Geography by TMH is recommended for getting a basic understanding of the second paper.

Geography of Population by RC Chandna

As the title suggests this book dwells on the Population aspects of the second paper and is a specialized book for this purpose. Population Geography explains all the relevant topics like migration, demographic attributes, patterns of settlements, etc in easy to understand manner. The latest edition of this book takes the 2001 census as its base to explore population aspects in detail. Population Geography is recommended to study this important topic of paper 2 in detail.

Regional Planning in India by Puri and Chand

Planning is the backbone of India’s economic system. The concept of 5-year plans was borrowed from the erstwhile Soviet Union and continues to form the basis of the economic system in India. But now the focus has shifted from top-down to bottom-up planning and hence the importance shown to regional planning in the Paper 2 syllabus.

For this reason you should study Regional Planning in India to cover topics like regional imbalances, tribal development and environmental issues, urbanization process etc. Regional Planning is recommended as reading a generic textbook for a specialized topic like planning may not be the best approach towards Geography paper 2.

Models in Geography by Majid Hussain

The final section of the Geography syllabus deals with models, theories and laws. To tackle these topics Majid Hussain has written yet another useful book called Models in Geography. This book explains all the important models and theories in a very lucid and cogent manner. Beginners as well as those having some background in Geography will find it useful.

More specifically Models in Geography  covers the following models: Malthusian, Marxian, Agricultural Land Use and Demographic Transitional apart from these theories: Central Place Theory, Theory of Industrial Location, Rostow’s Stages of Growth, Heartland and Rimland Theories besides others. Hussain was thoughtful enough to also include a chapter on Climate Change, which is useful not just for Geography but GS Mains as well.

This wraps up books for Geography for IAS mains exam. If you have some more suggestions or doubts you can leave your valued comments below. Happy reading 🙂

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Vimlaksh
 

I am your friend, mentor and guide to help crack the IAS exam. I've cleared the Prelims everytime including the first and also reached the Interview stage. Know more about me

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 134 comments
paramesha

sir, i have completed B E in e&c,now am preparing for preliminary exams for next year(2013),but am confused in choosing the text books plz help me…..and am interested in physics shall i choose that as my mains sub with pub adm or what subs can i take up……plz give information.

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hemant

m completed my bca and prepar for ias so hw to start my subject is geograpyh and which of the best book

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sid

I can surely say k Siddhartha’s books are quite good.

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Dharmesh Kemparaju

Sir, Plz suggest books for Indian History mains also..

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vardhan

Sir, for every topic in Geography a spcial book is referred when i surfed thru internet in many websites and blogs.
like masjid husain for human geo and Evolution og geo thiught, savindra singh for phy geo,kullar for indian geo,k siddarth for some other topics.And for Public ads also i have seen 10 books referred .and GS 15 books .Is there any other choice that i can cover 3/4 topics in one book.What i need is to minimise the cost (not probably) or to save time searching/ordering for those books .pla help me in this.

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priynk

well i’ve juz decided 2 give it a shot at cse 2013. would u plz guide me the subjects 2 choose as optional. i ‘ve an engg background, bt d tym is less. pls could u also suggest d books needed 4 dose subjects.

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priynk

well i have decided 2 give cse 2013 a try. as i m frm an engg background and dont have enough tym wud u recommend me d subjects to choose as optional, and also d books needed to prepare for cse mains (all including general studies,english,hindi+2 optional). pls also recommend me the books for prelims(already have tata mcgraw* general studies and csat).
REPLY ASAP. Plzzzzzzzzzz

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Gaurav patel

Respected sir
at this time i m working in deffence and i m prepairing for ias i have chosen subject politicalscience and geography and no one ir here to guide me so sir plz tell me that have i choose correct suaject or not n suggest me good book for these subjects

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sahana

hello sir,

can u please help me with reading an Atlas. wat s the important things to remember.please help me..

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vishram gupta

sir kya ap geography ki hindi medium ki books main exam ki taiyari ke liye bata sakte all syllabus thanks

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mohit

sir are these books still good as the syllabus has been revised by upsc

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Malathi

Sir,

My DOB is 04.12.1983… Am a serious civil service aspirant.I am taking up this year’s prelims(2013) and i am confident of clearing it in first attempt but if i fail in this attempt i donot want to give up … but what worries me more is my age since I belong to OBC i read through the previous yr’s age relaxation which says that OBC category can try till 33 yrs.Kindly guide me how many more attempts could i give going forward.Thank you so much sir.

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Shailesh

sir,
for Human geography I have,
1) notes of my CRASH COURSE, which certainly are not sufficient and i doubt whether all the topics are covered in those.
2) Human geography (MAJID HUSSAIN)
I am planning to have “model and theories by hussain” once i will finish upto regional planning.

But sir I am having these problems after reading few chapters (till population) in hussain and comparing with notes…
1) not confident about my crash course notes.
2) not able to fing all topics in Hussain book :
Perpective in human geography : areal differentiation, dichotomy vs dualism , quantitative reoution, radical approach, regional synthesis.
economic geography
HDI
don’t know whether chapter 5- Mosaic of culture, language, religion and costums is relevent to topics under perpective in human geography or not
3) don’t want to study one book for each topic especially those which don’t have significant weightage in last few years.
4) few had said proper coaching notes are must for human geography.

Sir, kindly provide some advice on this regard as soon as you please…

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ranjan kumar

sir kya ap geography ki hindi medium ki books main exam ki taiyari ke liye bata sakte all syllabus thanks

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sumit

Sir
I want to know the strategy and books to begin with while preparing for geography . As i am not taking any coaching , so plz suggest me how to approach for geography mains (books topics).Is it necessary to read khullar completely? or some selected topics.

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Mahesh

Sir,
I had appeared for UPSC last year following your blog , i got through the prelims but in case of mains i missed the cutoff by 43 marks . i scored 657 but had taken two optionals pub ad. and geo. I am working and cud manage only three weeks time to study , I have appeared this year too but am confused what to decide for my optional if i get through prelims .I scored 206 in geog and 190 in pub ad but felt i prepared for pub ad better last time

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Ruth,

Sir,
I am a Bsc(C.s),MBA(HR),graduate.IAS is my passion,but I don’t know how to prepare or how to choose papers.Please guide me for my preparation for 2013 prelims and in choosing text books.I am interested in geography.whether its ok or I can choose any other subject.Waiting for your suggestion sir.

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Ruth,

Sir,
I am a Bsc(C.S),MBA(HR)graduate.IAS is my passion.But I don,t know how to prepare and choose papers.I am interested in Geography.I need your guidance for my preparation for 2013 prelims.Please suggest me some text books and whether I have to choose any other subject.

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vinni

sir cds k liye best book bata dijiye sir g

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ramesh

hi sir…i am an ias aspirant… i am going to take history as optional. is it gud optional for scoring plz explain me sir………

Reply
    Vimlaksh

    All subjects are scoring provided you have a good grasp over them. So choose History by all means

    Reply
surbhi

hi lazy lord,
i have a question regarding ias preparation.
plz suggest me some books for geography for prelims…
and plz send me your email id so i can easily contact you…
i have some doubts regarding books..
plz plz plz..

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amit

sir, which books should i read for geography in hindi medium?

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vivek

sir ,
please write a blog regarding how to select the material from standard books while making notes out of them .
so that it will focused and relevant for civil services preparation.
thankyou

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vivek

sir .
please guide me which topics are to be covered from human geography by majid hussain .
thankyou

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vivek

sir the content in ”geography of india by majid hussain ” is almost the same as in khullar.
should I purchase khullar or majid hussain will serve the pupose

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Amrita

Hello Sir,

I am planning to give IAS exams in 2015, but the mains syllabus is going to change. Can you please let me know about the changes in mains syllabus and guide me for the preparation of the exams?

Reply
    Vimlaksh

    The mains syllabus has already changed and new changes are already posted on this site 2 months back. Use the search form

    Reply
karamdeep singh danodia

sir, i am student of b.tech 4th year of ece tred . i want to take prepare of ias exam.
which optional subject is good for me

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mohit

which is the best books for geography ias ,i.e it should b descriptive not of objectives

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mohit

advise books for geography ias

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Rajeev R. Sinha

sir plz. suggest me all important books on public Ad. & Geography especially in Hindi medium. I cannot find out this book list, all sources provides only english medium books list. so plz. help me sir.

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priyanka

what about G.C Leong- geography? I feel it is most recommended book for geography even to cover GS geography syllabus!

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abhishek

sir plz tell me about hindi lit what hindi could be scoring sub in ias exm nd if possible tell me how was the max no gained by any student in ias2013 exm

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Pawan

which is the best book on science & technology in the market

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Prajwal

That e-book on preparation was fantastic.All my doubts were cleared when i read that book.Thank you so much. I am not yet 18 years old but i wish to start preparation from now itself. Do you recommend me to join as a member now itself or is it better to join after a year?

Reply
    Vimlaksh

    Thanks for your feedback. Test series is helpful when you are actually preparing for Prelims. So I suggest you wait until you are ready to attempt your first Prelims!

    Reply
Aadil Qayoom

Hi sir i am planning to srart prepration for ias mains with geography as optional but i am not able to select some good books.please suggest me some good study material or provide me the way to some source from where i can avail complete study material for geography.Hope you reply soon.waiting for your response eagerly.

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parul mittal

hlo sir i am study in b.a. 1st yr and i want to became ias officer . sr told me about the ias studies , books, & how i became an I.A.S. OFFICER

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sathish kumar

Sir I’m a colorblind person. I’m eligible for writing civil service exam or not. Pls reply me sir

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yaswanth

Sir, can you please help me suggest me whether to take optional of pub.ad or political sciences & international relations since am having some what intrest in politcs could you suggest me which is the better option…. thank u

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siddhant

sir what books should i prefer keeping just prelims in my mind???
Geography is NOT my OPTIONAL
SIR PLEASE DO ANSWERR PLZZ
thanku☺☺

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John

Sir, I hv read all ur informations provided in ur site… I m very thankful for ur care to us (as aspirant). I hv graduate in chemistry and i even completing my M.sc(Chem) this year. Going through all ur information but still confuse to choose subject, whether i choose my own subjct or other as geography.

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SUJIT

SIR,
I WANT TO TAKE Geography AS MY OPTIONAL SUBJECT. IS THE BOOK LIST GIVEN BY YOU
ALSO AVAILABLE IN HINDI. IS IT GOOD TO GO WITH HINDI MEDIUM FOR GEOGRAPHY AS OPTIONAL SUBJECT. PLEASE GUIDE ME SIR

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Nikk pathak

Sir please notify me best book for uppsc geography paper 2 mains topic regional development and planning..other than regional planning in india by vk puri

Reply

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