IAS Exam Preparation: Booklist for Kannada Literature Optional

UPSC Mains Exam: Booklist and Strategy for Kannada Literature Optional

Here’s a complete booklist for Kannada Literature Optional Subject for UPSC Mains Exam along with the preparation strategy.

Booklist for Kannada Literature Paper 1


  1. Kannada Bhasha Shastra- R.Y. Dharwadkara
  2. Kannada Sahitya Charitre- R.S. Mugali

Booklist for Kannada Literature Paper 2


  1. Pampana Samasta Bharata Kathamritha—L. Basavaraju
  2. Vikramaarjuna Vijaya of Pampa (Introduction, cantos 12 & 13), (Mysore University Pub.)
  3. Vachana Kammata, Ed: K. Marulasiddappa K.R. Nagaraj (Bangalore University Pub.)
  4. Janapriya Kanakasamputa, Ed. D. Javare Gowda (Kannada and Culture Directorate, Bangalore)
  5. Nambiyannana Ragale, Ed., T.N. Sreekantaiah (Ta.Vem. Smaraka Grantha Male, Mysore)
  6. Kumaravyasa Bharata (Mysore University)
  7. Bettada Jeeva-Shivarama Karanta
  8. Madhavi-Arupama Niranjana
  9. Odalaala-Devanuru Mahadeva
  10. Kannada Sanna Kathegalu, Ed. G.H. Nayak
  11. Shudra Tapaswi-Kuvempu.
  12. Tughalak-Girish Karnad.
  13. Devaru-A.N. Moorty Rao
  14. Janapada Swaroopa-Dr. H.M. Nayak.
  15. Kannada Janapada Kathegalu-Ed. J.S. Paramashivaiah

Advantages of choosing Kannada Literature as Optional Subject


  • Candidates who are very well-versed with this language and have a keen interest in Kannada Literature can choose this subject for UPS Mains optional.
  • It’s a scoring subject as most of the toppers have scored above 250, which is difficult to score in other optional subjects.
  • Most of the questions are analytical, which makes the subject very interesting
  • The books to cover the Kannada Literature Syllabus are easily available.

Preparation Strategy


Kannada Literature is one of the challenging optional subjects of UPSC Mains Exam.

Strategy for Kannada Literature Optional

  • Candidates with good Kannada language skill that does not mean one must be a Kannada Literature graduate.
  • The Syllabus is vast, hence consumes a lot of time in covering the syllabus, so candidates should manage time effectively.
  • One should write fast as it is difficult to write very fast in Kannada, which many candidates with Kannada literature background agree and aspirants despite knowing the answers fail to attempt all the questions in the paper. Hence one should practice writing fast.
  • This optional subject least supports in the General Studies Paper of Mains like questions on Vijayanagar Dynasty could be answered.
  • Read Kannada Newspapers regularly for at least 15 minutes a day as this will acquaint you with the intricacies of the language.
  • Solve UPSC Previous Years’ Question Papers to get an idea of the question trends and pattern.
  • Though the syllabus is simple and easy but is vast, hence to cover this syllabus one needs a right guidance, it is recommended to either join coaching classes or take help from fellow aspirants with the same optional subject who has already attempted once or twice for mains exam.
  • To tackle the Paper II of this subject one should know the basic concept of Kannada.
  • It is recommended to attempt the other section first and keep the essay section last as they will ample time to put in their creativity in the essay and also this part would consume more time hence starting their paper with the essay would be not a right approach.
  • One should develop creative writing style in Kannada.

Ideally, with the adequate amount of time spent, the syllabus can be covered in 4 or 5 months.

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