The Medieval History begins from the middle of 8th Century AD to the start of 18th Century AD. Question’s from Medieval History is limited, unlike Ancient and Modern History. This is evident from the year on year analysis of the previous year Question-paper.


Weightage given since 2011

2011 1
2012 1
2013 2
2014 2


But then you never know, UPSC can spring out surprises. Many aspirants skip this section, but you can smartly Focus on certain topics and leave no stone unturned in your preparation.


How to Read Medieval History?

1. Religious movements


  • Sufi and Bhakti Movements and Saints(special importance to Women Saints) – their doctrines and practices
  • revival of Hinduism (by Adi Sankaracharya)
  • Impact of these movements.


Example (2012 Prelims Questions Paper):


 With reference to the religious history of medieval India, the Sufi mystics were known to pursue which of the following practices?
1. Meditation and control of breath
2. Severe ascetic exercises in a lonely place
3. Recitation of holy songs to arouse a state of ecstasy in their audienceSelect the correct answer using the codes given below :(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Solution (d)



2. Ruler’s/Empires (from Delhi Sultanates to Mughals)

(You don’t have to remember the name of the rulers, dates)

What you have to focus on is:

  • Political, Social, Economic organization during different ruler’s- the Delhi Sultanates, Vijayanagar Empire and the Bahamani Kingdoms, Mughals etc.
  • Art and Architecture during different rulers (especially during Mughal rule)
  • The rise and decline of different empires’ and dynasties’ – Causes

Note: Going by the recent trend, Dates, Places and Kings have lost relevance in the prelims exam

Example (2014 Prelims Questions Paper):

 In medieval India, the designations ‘Mahattara’ and ‘Pattakila’ were used for
1.      military officers2.      village headmen3.      specialists in Vedic rituals

4.      chiefs of craft guilds

Solution (b)


Click here to view the ‘Medieval History’ Questions that had appeared in the last four years (2011-2014)


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