Vande Mataram (Bengali script: বন্দে মাতরম্; Hindi/Sanskrit: वन्दे मातरम्; Vande Mātaram "I bow to thee, Mother") is a poem from the famed novel Anandamath which was written by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay in 1882. It was written in Bengali and Sanskrit. It is a hymn to Goddess Durga, identified as the national personification of India. It played a vital role in the Indian independence movement, first sung in a political context by Rabindranath Tagore at the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress.
In 1950 (after India's independence), the song's first two verses were given the official status of the "national song" of the Republic of India, distinct from the national anthem of India Jana Gana Mana.