Ancient Indian History Notes for UPSC [All Parts]

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Ancient Indian History Notes for UPSC

We have divided Ancient Indian history in 14 chapters. Link of all the 14 chapters of Ancient Indian history is given at the top and bottom of this post.

Ancient History NotesFor UPSC IAS EXAM
Chapter 1Sources of History
Chapter 2Stone Age
Chapter 3Indus Valley Civilization
Chapter 4Vedic age
Chapter 5Jainism & Buddhism
Chapter 6Magadha Empire
Chapter 7Mauryan Empire
Chapter 8Post Mauryan
Chapter 9Growth of Trade
Chapter 10Gupta Empire
Chapter 11Chola, Chera & Pandya
Chapter 12Eastern Indian Kingdoms
Chapter 13Ancient Indian Contribution
Chapter 14Art & Architecture
Ancient Indian History Notes for UPSC IAS Exam

History subject is one of the most important subject for UPSC exam. Indian history is divided in three parts – ancient history, medieval history, and modern history. In ancient history we will study about stone age, vedic age, Maurya Empire, Gupta age, Harshavardhana Empire etc.

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A brief history of modern India (Spectrum)Get Book
Indian Art and Culture by Nitin SinghaniaGet Book
Certificate Physical & Human Geography by GC LeongGet Book
AtlasGet Book
Indian Polity by LaxmikanthGet Book
Indian EconomyGet Book
Shankar IAS EnvironmentGet Book
Internal Security and Disaster Management by AshokGet Book
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History Booklist for UPSC

Below, we have mentioned all the most important books for History and we have also attached the image of all important history books for UPSC exam.

  1. R. S. Sharma (Ancient History)
  2. Satish Chandra (Medieval History)
  3. Rajiv Ahir (Modern History)
  4. NCERTs (Ancient History, Medieval History, Modern History)
  5. Tamil Nadu History (Ancient History, Medieval History, Modern History)
r s sharma ancient history book
R. S. Sharma – Ancient History Book
satish chandra medieval history book
Satish Chandra – Medieval History Book
rajiv ahir spectrum
Rajiv Ahir – Spectrum

Ancient History Syllabus for UPSC Exam

  1. Sources of Ancient Indian History
  • Greek and Latin Sources, and their reliability
  • Arthashastra as source
  • Jatakas as a Source of History
  • Records of Fa Xian (405-411 CE)
  • Travels of Xuanzang (630 to 644 CE)
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2. STONE AGES

  • Palaeolithic age (early Stone Age)
  • Characteristics of Paleolithic man
  • Important Palaeolithic Sites
  • Mesolithic Age – (after 8000 BC)
  • Important Mesolithic Sites
  • Neolithic Age (After 5000 BCE)
  • Important Neolithic sites
  • Transition to Pre-Harappan Phase
  • Bhimbetka Caves
  • Other Pre-Historic Caves
  • Megalithic Burials

3. INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION (3500 BCE to 1500 BCE)

  • Important Pre-Harappan sites
  • Why is Harappa an urban civilization?
  • Diffusionist theory
  • Early Phase to Mature Phase
  • Sindhu Sarasvati Civilization
  • Indus Script
  • Town Planning
  • Agriculture
  • Crafts
  • Religion
  • Political Structure
  • Continuity of Harappa

4. Vedic Age

  • Early Vedic age- (ca 15th century BC to 1000 BC)
  • Later Vedic Age (1000 BC to 600 BC)
  • Society
  • Political Consolidation
  • Gana Sanghas
  • Challenge to orthodoxy
  • Varna Hierarchy
  • Condition of women
  • Sacrifices
  • Upanishads
  • Iron technology and its impact

5. Jainism and Buddhism

  • Reasons for rise of Jainism and Buddhism
    • Political Context
    • Economic Context
    • Social Context
  • Development of Sramana Tradition
  • Principles of Jainism
  • Jaina Sangha
  • Principles of Buddhism
  • Buddhist Sangha
  • Councils of Buddhism
  • Reasons for Buddhism spread
  • Reasons for Buddhism decline
  • Buddhist concept of Varna and Jati
  • Growth of Mahayana Buddhism
  • Contributions of Buddhism
  • Buddhism and women
  • Vajrayana school- based on influence of Tantra.
  • Ajivikas

6. Magadha Empire

  • Reasons for Magadha’s success
  • First Invasion in India
  • Northern Black Polished Ware
    • Village life
    • Agriculture
  • Growth of Urban centres
    • Administration
    • Taxation
    • Army
    • Sethi/ Gahapati
  • Growth of trade
  • Alexander’s Invasion

7. MAURYA Empire

  • Chandragupta Maurya- (321 BCE to 297 BCE)
  • Megasthenes description of India
  • Ashoka, the Great- (273 BCE to 232 BCE)
    • Ashoka’s Dhamma
    • Ashoka’s inscriptions
  • Mauryas and forest people
  • Mauryan Economy
  • Mauryan Material culture
  • Mauryan Agriculture
  • Mines
  • Mauryan Trade
  • Reasons for decline of the empire
  • Shunga dynasty 187-73 BCE
  • Mauryan Art
  • Yaksha worship
  • Ashokan Pillars
  • Foreign Influence
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8. Post- Mauryan Period

  • Post- Mauryan Invasions after 2nd Century BCE
  • Greek Impact on India
  • Shakas
  • Parthians
  • Kushans
  • Kanishka
    • Kingdom of Kanishka
  • Effects of Invasions
    • Assimilation
    • Coins
    • Trade and technology
    • Polity
    • Religion
    • Culture
    • Literature
    • Science
  • Crafts – 2nd century BCE to 2nd century CE
  • Growth of Merchant Guilds
  • Role of guilds

9. Growth of Trade

  • Silk Route
  • Trade routes
  • Trade with Romans
  • Trade with south-east
  • Growth of Cities

10. GUPTA EMPIRE- 4rd to 6th century CE

  • Pursuits of Samudragupta
  • Chandragupta II (380 CE – 412 CE)
  • Kumaragupta (412AD to 454 AD)
  • Skandagupta
  • Guptas as Golden Age
  • Huna Invasion
  • Features of Gupta Age
  • Difference between Mauryas and Guptas
  • Gupta Administration
    • Admininstrative Divisions
  • Military administration
  • Revenue Administration
  • Judicial system
  • Economic Conditions
    • Agriculture
    • Crafts
    • Guilds
    • Trade
    • Coins
  • Growth of cities
  • Urban history of Guptas
  • Gupta Society- Social Structure
  • Condition of women
  • Untouchables
  • Slaves

11. South-Indian kingdoms

  • Early South- Indian kingdoms
  • Sangam Literature
  • Pandyas
  • Early Cholas-
  • Cheras
  • Post- Satavahana South Indian kingdoms- (500 CE to 900 CE)
  • Pallavas
  • Pallava contribution to administration
  • Pallava art and architecture- Upinder 634
  • Chalukyas
  • Specialties of Chalukyan art and architecture
  • Chalukya art- upinder 628 Hoysala- Upinder 632
  • Rashtrakutas (c 753 CE)

12. Eastern Indian Kingdoms

  • Orissa
  • Bengal
  • Assam

13. Ancient Indian Contributions

  • Sanskrit Literature in Ancient Times
  • Science and Technology in Ancient India
    • Astronomy
    • Mathematics
  • Education in Ancient India
  • Coinage
  • Land Ownership in Ancient India
  • Varna vs Jati
  • Condition of women 6th century BCE to 2nd century AD
  • Condition of women in Gupta period

14. Art and Architecture

  • Stupas
    • Sanchi Stupa
    • Stupas in Andhra Pradesh
    • Relief on Stupas
  • Cave tradition in western India
    • Ajanta Caves
    • Ellora caves
    • Eastern India caves- Udaygiri and Khandagiri
  • Gandhara School of Art
  • Mathura School of Art
  • Early Hindu Temple Architecture 2nd century BCE to 3rd century CE
  • Gupta Art and Architecture- Temple Architecture
  • Cave Architecture
  • Stupas
  • Sculptural Art
  • Paintings
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Ancient Indian History Notes [Part 1] Sources of History
Click here [Part 1]

Ancient Indian History Notes for UPSC [Part 2] Stone Age
Click here [Part 2]

Ancient Indian History Notes [Part 3] Indus Valley Civilization
Click here [Part 3]

Ancient Indian History Notes for UPSC [Part 4] Vedic age
Click here [Part 4]

Ancient Indian History Notes [Part 5] Jainism & Buddhism
Click here [Part 5]

Ancient Indian History Notes [Part 6] Magadha Empire
Click here [Part 6]

Ancient History Notes for UPSC [Part 7] Mauryan Empire
Click here [Part 7]

Ancient History Notes for UPSC [Part 8] Post Mauryan
Click here [Part 8]

Ancient History Notes for UPSC [Part 9] Growth of Trade
Click here [Part 9]

Ancient History Notes for UPSC [Part 10] Gupta Empire
Click here [Part 10]

Ancient History Notes for UPSC [Part 11] Chola, Chera & Pandya
Click here [Part 11]

Ancient History Notes for UPSC [Part 12] Eastern Indian Kingdoms
Click here [Part 12]

History Notes for UPSC [Part 13] Ancient Indian Contribution
Click here [Part 13]

Ancient History Notes for UPSC [Part 14] Art & Architecture
Click here [Part 14]