Ancient History

While preparing for the UPSC Civil Services examination, one cannot ignore Indian History notes. Various notes are being scattered over the internet for Indian History UPSC. We have complied and arranged such notes from the internet as well as various competitive books being recommended for UPSC Prelims preparation. The world is suffering due to this COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in various other tragedies. As coaching centers are closed, we have decided that we will reach out to all UPSC aspirants with our notes and will help them in preparation. We hope that our notes are going to help and improve your preparation to some extent.

In History, we will discuss various historical events in the three different sections of Ancient History, Medieval History, and Modern History. These sections are further divided into many chapters and topics. We have tried to cover every topic related to history notes for the UPSC Prelims examination. Despite that, there are possibilities that some of the topics may be incomplete or being left behind. We assure you that we will cover all those topics within a few times and if still thinks that those topics are missing and we request you to notify us about the same.

The section related to Ancient History starts with Historiography, where one will get to know about schools of writings. Then this will tell you about the Stone age, Indus Valley Civilization, Vedic Ages, Buddhism, Jainism, and so on. Before starting something about ancient history in detail we are giving some important facts about the geography that helps in providing a shape to our Indian history. We must understand our geographical conditions before start preparing for history.

Role of Geographical Factors in Shaping History

To understand the History of India, the role of geography and its factors must be included in the curriculum. Let us have a look at different aspects of geographical factors that have played a crucial role in giving shape to the History of India.

Role of Himalaya


The Himalayas act as barriers to Siberian cold winds. Because of this, the climate in North India has been comparatively warm & this warmer climate played important role in the growth of Flora & Fauna. It’s suitable for human life so the density of the population in India has greater than in China & others.

Himalayan Mountain acts as a barrier to foreign invaders. Though out Indian History no-invasion was witnessed from the Chinese side except in 1962 because the Himalayas are almost impossible to cross Himalayas with large groups. Through Himalaya Range is almost un-crossable found throughout the Himalayan range has enabled socio-cultural & economic contact of India with the outside world. The Himalayas is the sources of several perennial rivers & these rivers having the credos of culture & civilization of India throughout ages.

Role of Other Hills & Mountain

Shola Forest

Hills & Mountain divided India into several geographical regions. As a result of this regional culture emerged in India. Vindhyas have ensured that political-military development going on in North India didn’t have much impact on the life of peninsular India. Because of this Indian culture continued to flourish in India even if north India conquered by the Turks.

Aravalis have divided Western India into several small pockets because this Western India has also seen the existence of a large number of principalities. These Rajput states were almost equal in strength that is why political unification was rare in Rajputana throughout history. Because of Hilly-terrain, the Marathas could fight successfully against mighty Mughal by using Guerilla.

Role of Fertile Plains

Green Revolution

The availability of extensive fertile plains in North India has ensured that large emperors emerged in the North. Throughout Indian history, there has been no single extensive when power could rule over the whole of India by starting the south. Whoever controls North India could control the south but the opposite could never see because of the resource provided by fertile plains.

French failed because their focus on the south when captured Bengal became almost invisible & it was the conquest of Bengal that sealed the faith of India. It is because of the availability of extensive fertile plain, the capital of India is always located between Lahore to Calcutta.

Role of minerals, forest & another natural resource

The resource availability has left a lustering impact on the direction powerful empire emerged in those areas where national resources available in plenty. The Magadha Empire war far more successful than the fifteen other Mahajanpada because of the availability of iron mine timber & another natural resource in the Magadha region.

The availability of iron allowed the Magadha ruler to use iron weapons on large scale. Their army was far more successful.

Role of Climate

The warmer climate of North India when compared with trans-Himalayan regions had ensured that most of the vegetation & human population could continue to flourish throughout. The extreme climate of the Himalayan region has ensured that people. The density remained very low. The natural vegetation & other forms of wildlife could continue to survive in such low people density areas.

Role of Rivers

The RIver of Ganga
The River of Ganga

The alluvial soil brought by the river has formed the extensive fertile plains in India. These plains have provided resources for the continuation of human life throughout ages. The rivers are narrow in the foothills of mountains. These narrow rivers could be easily crossed without boats & other technology so early men settle in the foothills of the mountain.

Rivers in plains are prone to flooding. These were almost impossible to cross by early men that is why the Gangetic Plains were occupied by lacs of years by stone-age man only during the Mesolithic age (8000 BC – 5000 BC) men started setting in Gangetic plains. Rivers provided water for drinking as well as agriculture that is why the culture & civilization emerged in river valleys during ancient times. The river also acted as a political boundary throughout Indian History.

Role of Coast

The coastal area has witnessed maximum interaction with the outside world because this socio-cultural life in the coastal regions has been cosmopolitan in char. The people living in coastal areas have been liberal & progressive throughout. The rigidity of feudal society is absent in the coastal regions.

The extensive Indian coastline has allowed India to maintain trade and commerce with the outside world throughout ages. Even when the overland trade route obstructed due to politico-military development, the sea route remained open. It was because of this reason, Harappan civilization continued to flourish in the Gujarat region for many centuries after its decline in the northwestern part. The foreigners coming from Arab & Europe reached peninsular India before they arrived in the north because of facilities provided by parts located on Indian cost.

Role of Monsoon/Rainfall

The distribution of rainfall also affected the course of Indian History in many wars. Monsoon rainfall reduces from east to west that is why the density of forests follows the same pattern. Areas of moderate rainfall have been mostly density populated because of their suitability for agriculture.

The development in the ram shadow region of Maharashtra has been quite low since age because in absence of sufficient rainfall agriculture could not progress. Similar has been the picture in the Gujarat Rajasthan region where rainfall is extensively limited.

Geographical factors & political fragmentation of India

India has continental char because of extensively geographical spread the rulers in India have faced great difficulty throughout ages in caring out political unification. Except for Mauryan & Gupta (Imperial) age political fragmentation character Indian History throughout Ancient age.

Because of extensive geographical spread, Indian rulers could get locate time to look for colonics outside India or to subjugate the Trans-Hindus Kush region. On the other hand, foreign invasions have been more frequent throughout Indian History.