Anandamath is an extraordinary political novel. The plot with its epic dimensions is based on the sanyasi rebellion in the late eighteenth century. Against all odds the sanyasis fought the British whom they regarded as an arch enemy of the country and responsible for the terrible famine of 1772.
In this novel Bankim also wrote — Bande Mataram — Hail Motherland — and gave India its first national song which later became a rallying call of the national freedom movement.
'This novel is a legend of the struggle for freedom, and the passion behind it seems to reflect Bankim's vision of free India.' —Rabindranath Tagore
'It is legend in the tradition of the Mahabharata.' — Mulk Raj Anand
'One of India's 60 best books ever.' — Hindustan Times, 15 August 2007
'Of all his (Bankim's) works, by far the most important for its astonishing political consequences was Anandamath.' — R C Dutt, Encyclopaedia Britannica