Best Books on Indian History

Rating:
0
(0)
Best Books on Indian History

From stories about how the freedom fighters fought for the independence of our country and the discovery of Indus valley civilization to Mughal invaders and the changes in Indian Polity, there are scores of events that have happened from the palaeolithic age to the present in India. Our comprehensive list of best books on Indian History will take you on a tour of some of the most prominent and interesting events that have taken place over the period of time. So, put your reading glasses on and let’s get started!

List of Best Books on Indian History

  1. Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru
  2. India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy By Ramachandra Guha 
  3. The Argumentative Indian By Amartya Sen 
  4. Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins 
  5. The Great Partition by Yashmin Khan 
  6. The Wonder That Was India By A L Basham 
  7. The Last Mughal By William Dalrymple 
  8. India: A History By John Keay 
  9. From Plassey to Partition: A History Of Modern India by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay 
  10. History of Medieval India: From 1000 AD to 1707 AD by RS Chaurasia 
  11. Age of Nandas and Mauryas by K.A. Nilankantha Sastri 
  12. The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor
  13. A Corner Of A Foreign Field by Ramachandra Guha
  14. India: A history by John Keay
  15. Alberuni’s India by Alberuni (Translated by Edward C. Sachau)
  16. Prehistory and Protohistory of India – An Appraisal by VK Jain
  17. Ancient India by RC Majumdar
  18. Ancient History of India by Charles J. Naegele
  19. A Concise History of South India: Issues and Interpretations by Noboru Karashima
  20. History of Medieval India: From 1000 A. D. To 1707 A. D. by R.S. Chaurasia
  21. A Textbook of Medieval Indian History by Sailendra Nath Sen
  22. A History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
  23. Prehistoric India: Its Place In The World’s Cultures by Panchanan Mitra
  24. In Search of the Cradle of Civilization by Georg Feuerstein, Subhash Kak, David Frawley
  25. Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer

Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru 

Penned by India’s first Prime Minister, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru while he was in prison (1942-1946), Discovery of India will take you on a journey in which you will get to explore India’s long-lost past, starting from the coming of Aryans to the settlement of Britishers. Shyam Benegal’s television show Bharat Ek Khoj is based on this book.   

Courtesy: Pinterest

India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy By Ramachandra Guha 

Considered as one of the best books on Indian History, India After Gandhi will provide thorough insights into the political history of the 2nd half of the 20th century. The content of the book focuses on modern India i.e. the socio-economic conditions after independence [1947 to 1990] along with the prevailing conditions.

The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen 

Written by the famous, Nobel-prize winning economist, Amartya Sen, The Argumentative Indian is a collection of essays covering various facets of Indian History. Sen has beautifully presented this book for those who want to delve deeper into the principles of Indian Polity. You will come across 16 essays based on thoughts like India’s political heritage, identity, etc.

Freedom at Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins 

1947 partition is counted amongst one of the biggest tragedies in the history of India. Just like some of the best books on Indian History elucidating the events of partition, Collins and Lapierre’s Freedom at Midnight also focuses on the incidents of partition and sheds light on the work of historical figures like Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, etc.

The Great Partition by Yashmin Khan 

Well presented by Yashmin Khan, The Great Partition is a suitable read for those who want to know more about the reasons behind the partition of British India into 2 countries. Apart from the historical events, you will also read more about the political context of the event through this book.

The Wonder That Was India by A L Basham 

India is globally renowned for its cultural and religious diversity. If you want to get a hold of how the country’s religion, politics, literature, music, and society were in the ancient history, The Wonder That Was India would be a marvelous read for you. The reason why it is counted amongst the best books on Indian History is that it sheds light on various languages, social evolution, culture, and traditions, etc right from Harappan Civilization to the advent of Aryans

The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple 

This book is a treat for those who want to know about the national capital- Delhi and its fall during the Mughal period. Written by the famous travel writer, William Dalrymple, you will be familiarised with the events and the reasons that eventually led to the fall of the Mughal Empire. Even though it covers the overall Mughal dynasty and their rule in Delhi, but it is one of the best Indian History books to read if you specifically want to know more about the last Mughal emperor,  Bahadur Shah Zafar II.

India: A History By John Keay 

Starting with the Harappan civilization and covering the country until the nuclear arms race between and India and Pakistan, India: A History is a delight for those who want to read about the Indian History on a wide scale. This 600 pages book will take you down to 5,000 years old history and this is why it has been included in our list of best books on Indian History! 

From Plassey to Partition: A History Of Modern India by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay 

The downfall of the Mughal Empire was recorded as one of the notable events of Indian history, hence, the book begins by elaborating upon the same. Parallel to the disintegration of the Mughal Empire runs the story of the rise of British Empire in the Indian borders. The book also narrates the issues that were faced by Indian people during the British reign. Along with mentioning the detailed insights about India’s freedom struggle the book also describes the cultural and social changes that were prominent in the society at the time of foreign rulers. 

Courtesy: Amazon

History of Medieval India: From 1000 AD to 1707 AD by RS Chaurasia 

Being one of the best books on Indian history, this one in detail explains the mediaeval Indian history. It is divided into three parts which individually describe various periods under the mediaeval history. The Sultanate period from 1206 to 1526 is covered in the first part whereas the Mughal period ranging from 1526 to 1768 AD as explained in the second part of the book. The third part of the book describes the glory of 1857 along with the Bhakti movement, art and architecture, economy, culture and society. 

Courtesy: Amazon

Age of Nandas and Mauryas by K.A. Nilankantha Sastri 

It is observed that the period of 400 to 185 BCE recorded phenomenal changes in polity economics as well as the artistic upfront of India. This book brings out deeper insights regarding the same along with important events of this period. The great Alexander conquests, the overthrow of Nandas, the Mauryan rule as well as the rule of Ashoka and his successors are thoroughly mentioned in the book.

Apart from these best books on Indian History, here are some other recommended reads which you must have a look at:

26. Prehistory and Protohistory of India- An Appraisal by VK Jain (Buy Here)
27. A Textbook of  Medieval Indian History by Sailendra Nath Sen (Buy Here)
28. Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire by Alex von Tunzlemann (Buy Here)In
29. Spite of God by Edward Luce (Buy Here)
30.Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300 by Romila Thapar (Buy Here)

Best Books on Indian History for UPSC History

Now that you are aware of some of the best books on Indian History, let us have a look at some Indian history books which are important for UPSC preparation. As history is one of the prominent subjects in UPSC exams, here are some of the best Indian History books you can refer to for acing this topic-

Books  Authors Buy-Here Links
31. Indian Art and Culture  Nitin Singhania Click Here to Buy
32. History Of Modern India Bipan Chandra Click Here to Buy
33. India’s Ancient Past  RS Sharma Click Here to Buy
34. The Wonder That Was India  A.L. Basham Click Here to Buy
35. From Plassey to Partition Sekhar Bandyopadhyay Click Here to Buy
36. India After Gandhi  Ramchandra Guha Click Here to Buy

Best Books on Indian History for Competitive Exams

37. The History Compendium for IAS Prelims by Disha Experts
38. India’s Ancient Past by R.S. Sharma
39. The Wonder that was India by A.L Basham for Ancient History
40. Early India by Romila Thapar
41. Medieval India by Satish Chandra
42. AdvancedStudy in the History of Medieval India all the three volumes by J.L Mehta
43. History of Modern India by Bipan Chandra
44. India’s Struggle for Independence: 1857-1947 by Bipan Chandra
45. History of the World by Arjun Dev and Indira Arjun Dev
46. From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India

Best Books on Indian History for Begginers

  • India After Gandhi by Ramachandra Guha
  • The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru
  • The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen
  • The Last Mughal by William Dalrymple
  • The Great Partition by Yasmin Khan
  • An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India by Shashi Tharoor
  • India: A History by John Keay

Not only restricted to these but there is a wide range of best books on Indian History that will give you a glimpse into our historic past! History is a vast field of study and there are scores of specializations to pursue. If you are also considering pursuing HIstory courses but are confused about the majors then experts at Leverage Edu will lend you a helping hand! Not only will the experts help you choose the most suitable course based on your interest but will also assist in complying with the admission formalities!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10,000+ students realised their study abroad dream with us. Take the first step today.
Talk to an expert for FREE

You May Also Like

BA History
Read More

BA History

Are you interested in knowing about the past and how it connects to our contemporary world? Do you…
MA History
Read More

MA History

History studies the incremental changes that have happened through different centuries. It brings us closer to our past…