UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus: Download Sanskrit Syllabus for IAS Mains

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus covers Sanskrit literature, and the illustrious history of scientific epics, philosophy, works, and fiction. Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages in India, and a few candidates opt for it as their optional. Being aware of the UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus would help the candidates to figure out the amount of effort required to ace this paper. This is a less popular optional subject because Sanskrit is a difficult language to learn for beginners. Those who have studied this language earlier should only opt for it. The Sanskrit literature syllabus for UPSC may feel easy for those who have knowledge of this subject.

Candidates can check out the complete UPSC Sanskrit Syllabus below in this article, and give their preparation a head-start. Additionally, we have prepared a strategy that would help the candidates to prepare in the best possible way.

UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus for IAS Mains

There are two papers in the UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus namely- Paper-1 and Paper-2 as per the UPSC Exam pattern. And each paper carries 250 marks. Candidates must try to fetch good marks in this paper as it will play a big role in deciding their selection for the UPSC Mains exam. Candidates must go through the IAS Sanskrit Literature Syllabus carefully. Below we have covered a UPSC Sanskrit syllabus in brief.

UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus
Papers Topics Marks
Sanskrit literature syllabus for UPSC Paper-1 Significant features of the grammar

General Knowledge

Essentials of Indian Culture

Short Essay (in Sanskrit)

Trends of Indian Philosophy

Unseen passage with the questions (to be answered in Sanskrit).

UPSC Sanskrit syllabus Paper-2 General study

Short notes in Sanskrit

Questions from selected texts.


UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus PDF

It is essential to keep the entire IAS Sanskrit literature syllabus in mind to have an effective preparation. We understand that it is not feasible to visit a website again and again to check the syllabus. That we why we have covered the entire UPSC Sanskrit syllabus in a PDF file. Candidates can download the PDF file and take a printout to ensure that they don’t miss out on any important topics.

>> Download Sanskrit Literature Syllabus for UPSC PDF

UPSC Sanskrit Syllabus Paper 1

Paper-1 of the UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus includes Significant Features of grammar, General Knowledge-based questions from Sanskrit Texts, Essentials of Indian Culture, Trends of Indian Philosophy, Short Essay (in Sanskrit), Unseen passage with the questions, etc. there will be three questions which must be answered in Sanskrit, and the other questions can be answered in Sanskrit or any other medium opted by the candidate. Candidates can check out the entire syllabus below.

IAS Sanskrit Literature Syllabus Paper-1
Section-A 1. Significant features of the grammar, with particular stress on Sanjna, Sandhi, Karaka, Samasa, Kartari and Karmani vacyas (voice usages) (to be answered in Sanskrit).


(a) Main characteristics of Vedic Sanskrit language. (b) Prominent features of classical Sanskrit language. (c) Contribution of Sanskrit to linguistic studies.

3. General Knowledge of:-

(a) Literary history of Sanskrit, (b) Principal trends of literary criticism (c) Ramayana,

(d) Mahabharata (e) The origin and development of literary genres of:


Rupaka (drama)





Muktaka Kavya.

Section-B 4. Essentials of Indian Culture with stress on

a) Purusarthas- b) Samskaras- c) Varnasramavyavastha d) Arts and fine arts

e) Technical sciences

5. Trends of Indian Philosophy

a) Mimansa b) Vedanta c) Nyaya d) Vaisesika

e) Sankhya f) Yoga g) Bauddha h) Jaina j) Carvaka

6. Short Essay (in Sanskrit)

7. Unseen passage with the questions (to be answered in Sanskrit).

UPSC Sanskrit Syllabus Paper-2

Paper-2 is divided into two parts- Section- A and Section B. Section-A includes 4 groups and on the other hand Section- B includes 4 groups as well. In section-A candidates need to answer the question from Group-4 in Sanskrit only, and Groups 1,2, and 3 can be answered in either Sanskrit or any other medium. In Section B the Questions from Groups 1 and 2 must be answered in Sanskrit, and questions from 3&4 can be answered in Sanskrit or any other medium. Candidates can check out the complete UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus below.

UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus

UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus

UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus

Compulsory UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus

UPSC Mains includes a compulsory Indian language paper that is qualifying in nature. There are a total of 22 languages listed, and candidates can opt for one language from the list. Sanskrit is also a part of this list, and the UPSC Sanskrit syllabus of the qualifying paper tests the basic knowledge of the subject. There is no defined syllabus for this language, and it mostly contains short essays, Precis Wiring, Reading Comprehension, Usage, and Vocabulary. Candidates must have a solid grasp of the Sanskrit language to fetch good marks in this paper.

UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus- Preparation Strategy

Just like other Optional Subjects in UPSC the Sanskrit syllabus includes two papers as well. A few candidates go for Sanskrit because not many candidates are aware of this subject. Candidates from non-Sanskrit backgrounds shouldn’t opt for it. If you have opted for Sanskrit then it is required to take a strategic approach to fetch good marks in this subject. Below we have mentioned an effective preparation strategy to cover the UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus efficiently.

  • Before beginning the preparation one must understand the UPSC Sanskrit syllabus, and then come up with a robust study plan. Candidates must prepare a schedule to complete the syllabus on time, and leave enough time for revision.
  • The number of Sanskrit Books for UPSC available is limited, so there are not many options available to choose from. Still, it is crucial to make the right book choice for effective preparation.
  • Jot down the short notes, because note making is an evergreen strategy that would come in handy during the revision. Sanskrit is a bit typical language so make short notes to enhance your preparation.
  • Go through the USPC Previous Year Question Papers to understand the types of questions coming from this subject.
  • If you are preparing for the UPSC Mains Syllabus and IAS Sanskrit literature syllabus simultaneously then make sure to balance the preparation.

UPSC Sanskrit Literature Syllabus- Best Books

UPSC Books play a huge role in the Preparation of the UPSC Syllabus. That is why while preparing for the Sanskrit literature syllabus for UPSC, candidates must pick the right books to make the best out of their time. Even though there are not many Sanskrit books available out there, candidates can count on the following books.

  • Complete Sanskrit: Teach Yourself-Michael Coulson
  • Sanskrit for Beginners- Dr. Sunanda Shastri
  • Prarambhik Sanskrit Vyakaran-Madhusudan Mishra
  • Sanskrit Swyam Shikshak-Shripad Damodar Satvlekar
  • Rachnanuvadkaumudi- Kapildev Dwivedi
  • Bhasha Vigyan evam Bhasha Shastra-Kapildev Dwivedi
  • Kapildev Dwivedi- M. R. Kale
  • Sanskrit Sahitya ka Itihaas- Umashankar Sharma
  • Shukanasopadesh – Varnanam- Dr. Rajendra Kumar
  • Sanskrit Kavi Darshan-Bhola Shankar Vyas
  • Brihad Anuvad Chandrika-Chakradhar Nautiyal “Hansa” Shastri
Other Optional Literature Subjects for UPSC Mains Exam
UPSC Assamese Literature Syllabus UPSC Bengali Literature Syllabus
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UPSC Malayalam Literature Syllabus UPSC Nepali Syllabus
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