Geography Books for UPSC: Best Geography Optional Booklist by IAS Toppers

By Shubhra Anand Jain|Updated : December 20th, 2022

Geography Optional Books assumes great significance in both Prelims and Mains examination of the UPSC Exam. This is the most scoring optional that also aids in general studies papers if the subject is approached properly. Several candidates have succeeded in the UPSC Mains exam by selecting geography as their optional subject. The Geography Book for UPSC is used for the entire selection process for the IAS exam, as every stage includes Geography topics.

The Geography Books for UPSC are broadly divided into Indian and world geography for prelims, mains, and optional levels. Every Geography Optional Booklist must be supplemented with the atlas and current events to present your understanding of a concept. Go through the article and download the Geography Optional Books PDF for future reference.

 

Table of Content

Geography Books for UPSC

To ensure clarity and ease of preparation, we have divided the Geography Book for UPSC per stages and parts. Below mentioned are the sections where UPSC Geography Books will be used. You must also go through the Geography Syllabus for UPSC to be able to curate the best books that suit your preparation.

☛ Geography Syllabus for UPSC in Hindi 

Let’s check out the highly-referred Geography Books for UPSC. 

  • Geography book for UPSC Prelims
  • Geography book for UPSC Mains (GS Paper 1)
  • Geography book for UPSC Optional
  • World geography book for UPSC
  • Indian geography book for UPSC

How to Prepare Geography for UPSC?

Geography Optional Books

Those who have chosen geography as their optional subject need to cover all the Geography Books for UPSC. There are two optional papers, Paper 1 and Paper 2, each with 250 marks. The geography optional holds a total of 500 marks, so the candidates must prepare in the best possible way.

Geography Optional Books - Paper 1 

  • Human Geography by Majid Husain
  • A Geography by Population by R.C. Chandna
  • Goh Cheng Leong
  • Oceanography by Sharma & Vatal
  • Physical Geography - Made Simple, Rupa Publisher
  • Physical Geography by Savindra Singh
  • Economic and Social Geography - Made Simple by Rupa Publisher
  • Environmental Geography by Savindra Singh
  • Environmental Geography by Saxena
  • Environmental Awareness by R.C.Chandna
  • Agricultural Geography by Masjid Husain
  • Political Geography by R.D.Dixit
  • General Climatology by Critchfield
  • Physical Geography in Diagrams by Bunnett
  • Economic Geography by Hertshorn& Alexander
  • Principles of Geomorphology by W.D. Thornbury
  • Geomorphology by Savindra Singh
  • Economic and Social Geography - Made Simple, Rupa Publishers
  • Urbanization & Urban Systems in India by Ramachandran
  • Perspectives in Human Geography: Evolution of Geographic Thought by Majid Husain
  • Economic and Social Geography - Made Simple, Rupa Publisher
  • Regional Planning: Regional Planning - by Chand &Puri
  • Settlement Geography by K Siddhartha
  • Climatology by D.S.Lal
  • Physical Geography by Strahler & Strahler

Geography Previous Year Questions UPSC Mains

Geography Optional Books - Paper 2 

Below are some of the best Geography Books for optional paper 2. Paper 2 required regular reference to current events and the atlas. 

  • Economic and Commercial Geography of India by Sharma & Coutinho
  • Economic and Commercial Geography of India by C.B. Mamoria
  • Geography of India - Majid Husain
  • Transport, Communication, and Trade
  • Regional Development and Planning
  • Agriculture Geography by Majid Husain
  • Urbanization and Urban Systems in India by Ramachandran
  • Human Geography by Majid Husain
  • Economical and Commercial Geography of India by Sharma & Coutinho
  • Economic and Commercial Geography of India by C.B. Mamoria
  • India Year Book published by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting
  • Certificate Physical and Human Geography - Goh Cheng Leong
  • Economical and Commercial Geography by Sharma & Coutinho
  • Political Aspects: Modern Political Geography of India by B.L. Sukhwal.
  • Geography of Population by R.C.Chandna
  • A Geography of India by Gopal Singh
  • Regional Planning and Development by Chand and Puri
  • Indian Geography by D R Khullar

World Geography Books for UPSC

The world geography book for UPSC contains topics on population, urbanization, agriculture, culture, economics, and political systems around different regions of the world. The books below will surely help the aspirants build a strong foundation in world geography.

  • Economic and Social Geography – Made Simple – R.Knowles & J.Wareing
  • Evolution of Geographic Thought-Majid Husain
  • Physical Geography – Made Simple – Richard H Bryant
  • Oxford School Atlas – Oxford

Apart from the above-mentioned world geography book for UPSC, you can check a comprehensive list of IAS Geography Books to cover the syllabus of UPSC Prelims, mains, and optional subjects. 

☛ Difference Between Physical Geography and World Geography

Indian Geography Books for UPSC

The Indian geography book is an essential resource for an in-depth understanding of India's physical, economic, and social geography. Several questions about Indian geography will be asked in the UPSC Exam, so candidates are required to strengthen their preparation. Check out some of the Best Books for Indian Geography UPSC. 

The majority of the Indian geography syllabus of UPSC can be covered using NCERT Books from Class 6 to Class 12 with the help of Atlas. Apart from the NCERTs, you can cover the remaining topics from the following UPSC Books. You only need to cover part of the book from beginning to end. 

  • Physical Geography by Savindra Singh
  • Geomorphology by Savindra Singh
  • Physical Geography - Made Simple, Rupa Publisher
  • Geography of India By Majid Husain
  • Human Geography by Majid Husain
  • Economic and Social Geography - Made Simple, Rupa Publishers
  • A Geography by Population by R.C. Chandna
  • Agriculture Geography by Majid Husain
  • India Year Book, published by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

Geography Booklist for UPSC Prelims

If you are looking for the best Geography book for UPSC prelims preparation, then we have prepared a booklist below. Along with these books, you must read the newspaper daily and correlate Current Affairs with the atlas. The NCERTs are your best friend when preparing geography for UPSC prelims, giving you a strong foundation and conceptual clarity.

Geography Questions for UPSC Prelims 

NCERT Geography Books For UPSC

  • Class 6 – The Earth Our Habitat
  • Class 7 – Our Environment
  • Class 8 – Resource and Development
  • Class 9 – Contemporary India – I
  • Class 10 – Contemporary India – II
  • Class 11 – Fundamentals of Physical Geography
  • Class 11 – India – Physical Environment
  • Class 12 – Fundamentals of Human Geography
  • Class 12 – India – People and Economy

Apart from the NCERTs, you must go through the below-mentioned UPSC Books for geography. 

  • Go Cheng Leong – Certificate Physical & Human Geography Indian geography.
  • School Atlas – Orient Black Swan.
  • Oxford Student Atlas.

Geography Optional Books for UPSC Mains (GS Paper 1)

Choosing the ideal geography book for UPSC Mains is essential for the aspirants as geography is a major part of the UPSC GS Paper 1 Syllabus. For the Mains round, candidates must complete the UPSC Prelims Geography Books and some new additions mentioned below.

  • Geography of India by Surender Singh (alternative to Majid Husain).
  • India: A Comprehensive Geography by D.R Khuller (alternative to Majid Husain)
  • Physical Geography by Savindra Singh. (alternative to Goh Ching Leong)

☛ Best Atlas for UPSC

It is very important to utilize the atlas fully, and the geography books as topics such as the distribution of key natural resources in India and the world hold weightage. They can be easily prepared with the mentioned books.

Other Important UPSC Books
History Books for UPSCUPSC Electrical Engineering Books
Polity Books for UPSCMedical Science Book for UPSC
Ethics Books for UPSCAgriculture Books for UPSC
Anthropology Books for UPSCUPSC Civil Engineering Optional Books
Economics Book for UPSCAnimal Husbandry Books for UPSC

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Geography Books for UPSC FAQ

  • By consulting the top Geography Optional Books, candidates can complete the UPSC optional geography curriculum. Since geography is covered in both UPSC Prelims and the main exams, candidates should go through the Geography Optional booklist provided in the article.

    Download the Geography Optional Books PDF

  • Yes, it is one of the highly recommended geography books for UPSC. One of the best things about this book is, it talks about the latest updates and their impacts in a detailed format. UPSC books by Majid Hussain cover various geography topics such as Indian geography, human geography, and agriculture geography.

  • The world geography syllabus of UPSC can be divided into geomorphology, oceanography, climatology, social geography, and economic geography. The best world geography book for UPSC is NCERTs from Class 6 to 12 along with G C Leong and books by Majid Husain.

  • The best books for Indian geography UPSC are Geography of India By Majid Husain, Oxford Student Atlas, NCERTs from Class 6 to 12, and The Hindu. Candidates need to check the UPSC syllabus and pick the right book for each stage accordingly.

  • The Oxford Student Atlas for India by Oxford University Press is one of UPSC's best atlas geography books. It also covers the pictorial representation of maps, which makes it easier for the students to understand and remember.

  • Many IAS geography books available in the market can be valuable to your collection. However, the best books for the UPSC geography syllabus are NCERTs from Class 6th to Class 12th, along with the Atlas and current events. To correlate and answer, it is imperative to understand all the concepts mentioned in the UPSC Mains Syllabus, optional, and prelims syllabus.

  • The top geography optional books for optional preparation are listed below:

    • NCERT XI and XII for geography
    • Physical Geography- By Savindra Singh
    • Geographical thought by Sudipta Adhikary
    • Majid Hussain's Human Geography
    • Models and theories by Majid Hussain

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