How to prepare for UPSC Prelims 2019 – Ancient & Medieval India (Blog 5)?

Blog 5 – Ancient & Medieval India

In continuation with series of blog on Strategy for History, here we will share the strategy on how to approach the diciest part of History i.e Ancient and Medieval India.

Ancient and medieval India are very interlinked with culture. Asoka and Buddhism are deeply bonded, the same way we cannot study Shah Jahan without commenting on Taj Mahal.


  • History NCERT of Classes VI, VII and VIII (must to build your base)
  • Ancient India Class XI NCERT by R S Sharma.
  • Medieval India Class XI NCERT by Satish Chandra.
  • General Knowledge by Lucent’s (A great value addition to your revision)

Focus Areas

                The syllabus and sources look like a vast ocean. But we can curtail it too few specific and important areas in sync with UPSC trend.

  • Terminologies – It is one the most famous areas for UPSC and confusing one for the aspirants. But be assured of at least one question from this area

Make sure you be thorough with such terms both from Ancient and Medieval India. A few examples to make things more clear like Sarthavaha, Maninagram, Chettis, Saroffs etc.

  • Indus Valley Civilization- Significant part with high probability of questions. Focus should be on
    • Harappan sites ( largest site, east-west-north-south extension, artifacts associated with them, unique features etc)
    • Art, Crafts and Seals .
    • General Features of IVC like social life, religious life.
  • Vedic Period – Focus on terminologies like various name of Yugas,
    • Compare early vedic with later vedic phase.
    • Society – family life, types of marriages, status of women.
    • Literature written during the vedic period.

  • Kings and Kingdoms – The best strategy is be thorough with the most important events during each ruler reign.
    • Important rulers and their work like Chandragupta Maurya and Sudarshan lake work, or his south ward migration with Jaina monk or Balban and his Sijda and Paibos.
    • Important travelers who visited during their rule and their kingdom.
    • Literary works, their autobiography and biography.
    • Development of Science , art in their reign.
    • Important battles they fought.

Religious movements-Do focus on Bhakti and Sufi movements. Example 550th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak . It is good to have an idea on religious philosophy like advaita. Pay attention to various Sufi terms like ‘Zikr’ ‘Wahadul Wajud’ etc.

Summing Down

  • This vast and factual section should be tackled smartly by limiting your sources and increasing revisions.
  • Go through standard books and built on with Lucent’s General Knowledge to get factual information.
  • Keep tab on news papers, PIB like any commemorative coins and stamps on Historical Character or any development like statues etc.
  • Go through state tourism websites, any special focus/imitative for particular architecture to predict the question.
  • Check your preparation by enrolling in any of the test series available ,to get a clear understanding on nature of questions and important area to focus on.
Xaam UPSC Prelims 2019 Online Test series Join Here

(Extensive coverage of NCERT,NIOS,TamilNadu Board books,Standard Reference Books,Survey Budget and 2years of Current Affairs)

All the Best ! Stay tune for next on Strategy on Ancient and Medieval India. Happy Learning !!!

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