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Best book to refer to for Ancient History for Mains-2015

edited May 2015 in Miscellaneous
GS-I/CSM-2014: Question No. 1: To what extent has the urban planning and culture of Indus Valley Civilisation provided inputs to the present day urbanisation ? Discuss

Please consider this question before suggesting.The book shall also help for Prelims.

The probable option of books according to my research:
1) Book by Upinder Singh
https://www.flipkart.com/history-ancient-early-medieval-india-1st-english/p/itmdx9f9znhkf7us?pid=9788131716779

2) Book by D N Jha
https://www.flipkart.com/early-india-concise-history-english-01/p/itmdyu6dzy9mzer8?pid=9788173045875

3) IGNOU Ancient India Notes
4) Old NCERT Ancient India series of books
5) Some coaching notes for ancient India

Suggest, which book shall be better. Guys with History optional can suggest confidently. The first book has got very good review but seems an overkill to me.

Comments

  • @abhithepandey Brother, considering the above question we could generally write about:
    Indus valley civilization paved the way for
    - Town Planning: Rectangular pattern and intersection at right angles, villages and town different, upper middle class difference visible
    - Natural air conditioning: Maybe some upper floors had put breeze to effective use (John Green)
    - Drainage, Sanitation: All drains connected to one large drain, tilted floors to drain water
    - Granaries: Common storage space for food needs, emergency time usage
    - Great Bath: Public purpose utilities were priorities then too, Separate chambers for bath
    Present day urbanization have included continued improvements but yet laced with slum, drainage, utilities problems. However the same Indus civilization towns choked later.
    Culture: ? Recreations, Sports during leisure and Fashion too?
    We could relate these influences on modern town planning.
    All these points were there in Old NCERT and CCRT.
    Not a history optional student, they can give better inputs.
    Hesitating to act because the whole vision might not be achieved, or because others do not yet share it, is an attitude that only hinders progress.
  • DN jha is best for non optional guys since it is the smallest and has covered almost all important areas.However know one thing that this guy is a huge marxist and may hurt one's religious sentiments especially if you are a devout hindu(eg.He writes pages on how our vedic ancients slaughtered cows and loved devouring beef!Infact this ungrateful looser has a book on it!!http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Holy-Cow-Jha/dp/B00DPOQAKW)Second choice would be old ncert,safe but lacks depth.Third would be upi/ignou which is for us optional guys but is too much for a mere 50 or so marks expected in gs1 for ancient India.So final choice is yours,but as the above comment says NCERTS are enough for questions asked so far!
    History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
  • edited May 2015
    selective reading of
    Upinder singh ..DN JHA is didnt find useful..
    One of the greatest mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results
  • edited May 2015
    Upinder Singh is really an overkill for prelims..thats for sure..one will be spending half of time sifting as which section is useful for upsc and which is not. Second half of time would be spent in sifting as which info From the selected section is useful and which is not. In end no time for studying.

    For every argument she presents views of n number of historians and data of n number of sources. In the end she forgets to present her own views. I have an impression it to be less of history book and more of a compendium of information.

    No doubt questions in history optionals have been picked up word by word from upinder I myself as a history optional newbie at lost as to how to deal with such a vast book.
  • So, I have concluded that the preparation of Ancient-India would consist of mix and match of several sources, like that of Culture preparation. :-B
  • selective AL Basham can also be a good option . it covers religion , state and social life aspects really well .
    Patience + Persistence + Perseverance
  • How is Gazateer of India ?
    To be, or not to be, that is the question...
  • Bro I think if you have prepared culture well, you can read Ancient History from old NCERT. That should be sufficient. Just my opinion. We don't have Ancient History in mains as such. Only Culture parts are there in mains.
    pre - 2, mains - 1*
  • Can anybody say , how is VD Mahajan?
  • Romila thapar and a.l. bhasham...must...for thorough undrstndng...
  • GS-I/CSM-2014: Question No. 1: To what extent has the urban planning and culture of Indus Valley Civilisation provided inputs to the present day urbanisation ? Discuss

    Please consider this question before suggesting.The book shall also help for Prelims.

    The probable option of books according to my research:
    1) Book by Upinder Singh
    https://www.flipkart.com/history-ancient-early-medieval-india-1st-english/p/itmdx9f9znhkf7us?pid=9788131716779

    2) Book by D N Jha
    https://www.flipkart.com/early-india-concise-history-english-01/p/itmdyu6dzy9mzer8?pid=9788173045875

    3) IGNOU Ancient India Notes
    4) Old NCERT Ancient India series of books
    5) Some coaching notes for ancient India

    Suggest, which book shall be better. Guys with History optional can suggest confidently. The first book has got very good review but seems an overkill to me.
    The part of Ancient History that we need to know for Prelims invariably interfaces with Culture. I have been terribly poor at History all my life, and I knew I had to deal with this problem when it came to UPSC prelims. I will tell you one exact way of doing this and being worry free about both Culture & Ancient History for Prelims:-

    1. Ancient History will not have a single source, and you do not need to ratto it as such - but yes you will need to read it 5 -10 times.

    2. You will have to read it from more than one source - and it is the only subject for which I would say - read the same thing from multiple sources. For all other things in UPSC - keep just one source.

    3. Lucent will be your starting point - Do ancient History from there , and do it 5 times.

    4. Get GS Manual of TMH and do ancient from there again.

    5. The above two will cover 60% of your questions, which is good enough.

    6. Take up NCERT xerox from - ancient India, and do it well , like really well. It will be broing at first, but read every chapter twice or thrice.

    7. Goto the exam confidently. If you are still not able to answer 1-2 questions, worry not as you have done enough and doing more would only come at the cost of some other subject.

    8. Feel free to interrogate me on this.

    A lot of much more successful candidates may have gotten through with much less hard work, and an equal number may have gone for much more hard work than I propose above, but this would be somewhere - the middle path.

    9. Take up ten years question paper and read about every question on the Internet. Your prep is complete. 2-3 questions will be from the same personality or event which UPSc has asked in last 10 years.

    Hope it helps @abhithepandey

    *No good deed goes unpunished* | I am no knight, do not call me Sir | I write articles for Civil Services Aspirants, you can find them at http://blog.forumias.com/author/neyawn |
  • Rs sharma
    2014-1st attempt,mains--pol science
  • RS Sharma is good. It is not too long, not too brief and written simply. If you go for Upinder Singh (I have this book too) but it is so huge that if you don't have History optional then you are wasting your time.

    RS Sharma is basically old NCERT's in one book (As he was the author of old NCERT's). So in the end RS Sharma or old NCERTs
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