Vande Mataram (Bengali script: বন্দে মাতরম্, Devanagari: वन्दे मातरम्, Vande Mātaram) is a poem from Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay's 1882 novel Anandamath. Though 'Vande Mataram' literally means "I praise thee, Mother" the English translation by Sri Aurobindo was rendered as "I bow to thee, Mother". It was written in Bengali and Sanskrit.
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. Spiritual Indian nationalist and philosopher Sri Aurobindo referred it as "National Anthem of Bengal".
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.