Recommended History Books for IAS Mains

history-books-ias-examHistory is one of the most popular optional subjects in IAS exam partly because we all have studied History in our school and/or college days. Also it is fun and interesting to read with all the historic tales, battles, and cultures to study. This post lists the recommended History books for IAS exam. The books are categorized as per the syllabus: Ancient, Medieval, Modern History, and World History.

Books for Ancient History (Paper 1):

Books for Medieval History (Paper 1):

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Books for Modern History (Paper 2):

Book for World History (Paper 2):

These books are as per the revised History syllabus for IAS Mains and will be useful in your preparation of History optional.

Recommended Books for IAS

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30 thoughts on “Recommended History Books for IAS Mains”

  1. Sir,
    I’m 38 yrs old PH (OH) candidate. i want to start preperation for IAS. would it be worthwhile for me to do the same. does UPSC prefers low age candidates. kindly guide me.

  2. Hi Sir,

    Good morning , the above listed history books are also available in Hindi with same author and publication please advise.


  3. Hi Sir,

    Good morning thank you for guidance its too helpful for us who are preparing for Civil service.
    sir would you please suggest books for MAINS GS 1, GS 2, GS 3, GS 4, GS 5 which author and publication i should go for.
    also please tell that all the books u have suggested for history and PUB AD are available in Hindi, from same Author.
    please reply sir.

    thank you.

  4. Sir,
    I have graduated as an electrical engineer in 2013 and want to take English Literature as my optional for UPSC mains next year. Any tips, advice or suggestions (apart from “don’t take English ) 🙂 ??

  5. hello sir i am an civil service aspirant and my question is, is it possible to crack civil service with out coaching center s help .if possible sir how i crack the prelims of 2014 .

  6. Sir,
    I m a student of electronics engineering final year…and i want to go for ias prelims 2014…so pls can u suggest me that do i have the sufficient time for preperation as the exam is just 8 months away…
    I would be thankful to you.

  7. Sir can u plz suggest me only one standard book as text book for history(each one for ancient,medival,modern,world history) so that i can by them,i will make xeror of remaining little uncovered portions from other referrence books

  8. hi sir…can u plz tell me which books i should to refer for history which is included in the gs main paper 1 ..sir i m totally getting confused….i just dont understand from where ,i should start the prepration for ias 2015 exam…….plzz sir give me some guideline…at this time ..i have most needed of ur help….it will b very heplful for me…..

    1. Hi Nisha,

      First you should start with some websites like

      from there you can some idea then you can create some notes and start reading The Hindu new paper daily basis, That will help you for mains paper.

      Please don’t be confused and Believe on yourself, You can do it 🙂

  9. namstay sir , mai ias officer bannaa chaahtaa huuunn sir aap liez bataayay ki 12 k baad mai kyaa kroon .mainay 11 mai arts lee hai

    1. Hello sir
      Ur suggestions is very useful for all the aspirant.can u please do a little more fevour also give guidence to prepare history paper mains in hindi as i m a hindi student.

  10. Sir, I am planning to choose history in mains.. not going for coaching.. i have a doubt whether all these books mentioned above need to be read for appearing in mains??
    Please advice..

  11. Sir,
    Is it of any use to study Mesopotamian culture, Islamic Empires and early or actually primitive world history viz. The new NCERT for class 11. Since old NCERTs are not available I have started with new ones and 11th standard for the time being. But after completing around 100 pages of the book, I am still confused if this is important or should I shift to Only Modern History of the world (1500AD – post world wars) and Detailed study of Ancient history be limited to indian History Only.

    Please guide, 2015 will be my first attempt. please suggest good books for history after NCERTs are done.


    1. I suggest you first focus on Modern Indian History from 18th century period since this will be important for both, Prelims as well as Mains. Then you can proceed from there.

  12. SIr;
    I want to start the study for ias exams . i have more intrest in history and administrtion is looking more easy . what was the best for me.
    Plz sir give me suitable list of books .while i want to prepare form base

  13. Hi sir thank u for listed out the important topics for economy like this can u suggest me for remaining subjets like polity geography history plz and one more thing I want to ask am purchasing all books what u mentioned in this web site and wt about science and technology plz clarify my queries

  14. Hello Sir,
    I would request you to tell me if it is worthy of taking classes for history optional. Or Shall I do this myself.
    Also sir please provide me with the study material for the same.

  15. sir i just started preparing properlyfor ias exams.i wants to know about the recommended books of history economy n gk for ias pre n mains…my main subject is also history..

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