Top Books on Indian History

Top Books on Indian History

India’s history is a tapestry of dynasties, cultures, and civilizations that have left an unmistakable impact on the subcontinent. Indian history is a fascinating trip through time, from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization through the struggle for independence. To go deeper into this enthralling story, there are numerous publications available that provide insights, analyses, and opinions on India’s past. In this post, we will look at some of the best books on Indian history, providing readers with a thorough list to get started on their historical journey.

1. “India: A History” by John Keay

“India: A History” by John Keay is a thorough and interesting study of India’s history spanning thousands of years. The book presents a thorough examination of the subcontinent’s various cultures, empires, and events. Keay’s tale deftly blends together political, social, and cultural elements, making it an ideal place to start for anybody interested in Indian history.

2. “The Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru

“The Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru is a famous text that presents a very personal view on India’s history. Nehru’s book, written while incarcerated, illustrates his love of the country’s heritage, its struggle for independence, and his vision for a modern India. It offers rare insights into one of India’s founding fathers’ minds.

3. “Ancient India” by Romila Thapar

Romila Thapar, a well-known historian, gives a detailed account of ancient Indian history in her book “Ancient India.” Thapar’s work is renowned for its scholarly approach and extensive investigation of early Indian civilizations such as the Indus Valley, Vedic period, and empire rise.

4. “India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy” by Ramachandra Guha

“India After Gandhi” by Ramachandra Guha is a modern history book that follows India from its independence in 1947 to the present day. It digs into the world’s largest democracy’s challenges and triumphs, offering readers with a detailed perspective of India’s post-independence history.

5. “The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture, and Identity” by Amartya Sen

In “The Argumentative Indian┬áNobel laureate Amartya Sen investigates India’s diverse nature. Sen’s essay collection digs into numerous facets of Indian history, culture, and identity, providing a stimulating and scholarly perspective on the country’s rich legacy.

6. “India’s Struggle for Independence” by Bipan Chandra

“Bipan Chandra’s “India’s Struggle for Independence” is the definitive history of the Indian independence movement.” It tells the thorough and chronological story of the events, leaders, and philosophies that formed India’s march to independence. The book is an excellent resource for understanding the sacrifices and tenacity of those who battled for India’s independence.

7. “The Great Indian Novel” by Shashi Tharoor

“The Great Indian Novel” by Shashi Tharoor is a unique and imaginative recounting of India’s history based on characters and events from the Indian epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. Tharoor’s literary technique provides readers with a new and unique viewpoint on India’s ancient past and current challenges.

8. “The Wonder That Was India” by A.L. Basham

“The Wonder That Was India” by A.L. Basham is a famous literature that covers ancient India’s cultural and historical history. It includes religion, philosophy, art, and society, giving a full picture of India’s illustrious past.

9. “Indian Polity” by M. Laxmikanth

“Indian Polity” by M. Laxmikanth is a highly recommended book for individuals interested in studying India’s political history and the growth of its democratic institutions. It provides extensive insights into the Indian political system and its evolution over time.

10. “The Last Mughal: The Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi 1857” by William Dalrymple

“The Last Mughal” by William Dalrymple dives into a pivotal period in Indian history, focusing on the events surrounding the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The book vividly depicts the final days of the Mughal Empire and the momentous events that occurred during that time period.


Over millennia, India’s history has been woven into a tapestry of many civilizations, empires, and movements that have formed its identity. The works listed above provide a variety of perspectives and insights into this complex story. These publications give a great insight into India’s rich and complex background, whether you are a history buff, a student, or simply interested about India’s past. By immersing oneself in the pages of these works, one can embark on a fascinating journey through Indian history, acquiring a better understanding of its vivid and diverse past.

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