Best Books for Sanskrit Literature Optional for UPSC IAS Mains

UPSC conducts Civil services exam in three stages: 

  1. Prelims 
  2. Mains 
  3. Interview. 

In this, Aspirants need to choose an optional subject for the UPSC Mains exam which plays an important role in deciding the Ranks of the Aspirants in the IAS Examination. 

While Sanskrit is still perceived as the oldest language and too difficult to understand, it’s also one of the scoring language papers. 

The Syllabus of Sanskrit takes approx 2 months to complete who didn’t opt for Sanskrit in Graduation. But 1 month is enough for those who chose Sanskrit in Graduation.  

Sanskrit language, which is included in the IAS Mains paper, has a very rich history. And still popular in this era. It is the most ancient language and one among the great languages in the world. It’s the gem given by ancient India, it is universally recognized as the language containing the oldest literature in the world. 

Booklist for the UPSC Sanskrit literature in papers 1 and 2 in IAS Mains Examination are given below - 

  • Rachnanuvadkaumudi by Kapildev Dwivedi
  • Brihad Anuvad Chandrika by Chakradhar Nautiyal “Hansa” Shastri
  • Bhasha Vigyan evam Bhasha Shastra by Kapildev Dwivedi
  • Sanskrit Sahitya ka Itihaas by Umashankar Sharma “Rishi”
  • Sanskrit Kavi Darshan by Bhola Shankar Vyas
  • R. Kale’s books on each of the Mahakavya
  • Separate books for topics of Group 2 – Pracheen Sahitya (ancient literature)
  • Original texts
    • Raghuvansham – Canto I, Verses 1 to 10
    • Kumarasambhavam – Canto I, Verses 1 to 10
    • Kiratarjuniyam – Canto I, Verses 1 to 10
    • Isavasyopanisad – verses -1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 15 and 18
    • Bhagavad Gita Chapter II verses 13 to 25
    • Sundarakandam of Valmiki Canto 15, Verses 15 to 30
    • Meghadutam – verses 1 to 10
    • Nitisatakam – Verses 1 to 10 (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publication)
    • Kadambar i- Sukanaso-padesa (only)
  • Shukanasopadesh – varnanam by Dr Rajendra Kumar