1. Sources:

Archaeological sources: Exploration, Excavation, Epigraphy, Numismatics and Monuments.

Literary sources:

  • Indigenous: Primary and secondary ; poetry, scientific literature, literature , literature in regional languages, religious literature.
  • Foreign accounts: Greek, Chinese and Arab writers.

2. Pre-history and Proto-history:

Geographical factors

Hunting and gathering (Paleolithic and Mesolithic)

Beginning of agriculture (Neolithic)

Chalcolithic Culture

The Neolithic-Chalcolithic Cultures Outside The Indus System

3. Indus Valley Civilization:

Indus Valley Civilization: Origin, date, extent, characteristics, decline, survival and significance, art and architecture

4. Megalithic Cultures:

Megalithic Cultures: Distribution of pastoral and farming cultures outside the Indus, Development of community life, Settlements, Development of agriculture, Crafts, Pottery, and Iron industry.

5. Aryans and Vedic Period:

Expansions of Aryans in India
Vedic Period: Religious and philosophic literature; Transformation from Rig Vedic period to the later Vedic period; Political, social and economical life; Significance of the Vedic Age; Evolution of Monarchy and Varna system.

6. Period of Mahajanapadas:

Formation of States (Mahajanapada):Republics and monarchies

Rise of urban centres; Trade routes; Economic growth; Introduction of coinage

Spread of Jainism and Buddhism (Part 1)

Spread of Jainism and Buddhism (Part 2)

Spread of Jainism and Buddhism (Part 3)

Rise of Magadha and Nandas

Iranian and Macedonian invasions and their impact and Early Geek-Roman Accounts on India

7. Mauryan Empire:

Mauryan Empire: Foundation of the Mauryan Empire , Chandragupta, Kautilya and Arthashastra; Ashoka; Concept of Dharma; Edicts; Polity, Administration; Economy; Art, architecture and sculpture; External contacts; Religion; Spread of religion; Literature. Disintegration of the empire

Sungas and Kanvas

8. Post – Mauryan Period (Indo-Greeks, Sakas, Kushanas, Western Kshatrapas):
Contact with outside world; growth of urban centres, economy, coinage, development of religions, Mahayana, social conditions, art, architecture, culture, literature and science.

9. Early State and Society in Eastern India, Deccan and South India:


The Satavahanas

Tamil States of the Sangam Age; Administration , economy, land grants, coinage, trade guilds and urban centres; Buddhist centres; Sangam literature and culture; Art and architecture.

10. Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas:

Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas: Polity and administration , Economic conditions, Coinage of the Guptas, Land grants, Decline of urban centres, Indian feudalism, Caste system, Position of women, Education and educational institutions; Nalanda, Vikramshila and Vallabhi, Literature, scientific literature, art and architecture.

Vakataka Dynasty

Vardhana Dynasty And Chinese Buddhist Travelers’ Accounts

11. Regional States during Gupta Era:

The Kadambas,


Chalukyas of Badami;

Polity and Administration, Trade guilds, Literature; growth of Vaishnava and Saiva religions.

Tamil Bhakti movement, Shankaracharya; Vedanta; Institutions of temple and temple architecture;

Palas, Senas, Rashtrakutas, Paramaras, Polity and administration; Cultural aspects.

Arab conquest of Sind; Alberuni,

The Chalukyas of Kalyana, Cholas, Hoysalas, Pandyas; Polity and Administration; local Government ; Growth of art and architecture, religious sects, Institution of temple and Mathas, Agraharas, education and literature, economy and society.

12. Themes in Early Indian Cultural History:

Languages and texts,

Major stages in the evolution of art and architecture,

Mathura School of art, Gandhara School of Arts, Amaravati School of Art

Major philosophical thinkers and schools: The Systems of Indian Philosophy

Major philosophical thinkers and schools: Six Schools of Indian Philosophy

Major philosophical thinkers and schools: Ajivika and Charvaka School

Major philosophical thinkers and schools: Shaktism, Tantricism and other schools

Ideas in Science and Mathematics.