Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, was born on June 26, 1838 at Kanthalpara, in an orthodox family. He was the youngest of three brothers, Jadab Chandra Chattopadhyaya and Durgadebi. He was educated at the Mohsin College in Hooghly and later at the Presidency College, graduating with a degree in Arts in 1857. He was one of the first two graduates of the Calcutta University. He later obtained a degree in Law as well, in 1869. He was offered the government post of Deputy Magistrate and Collector which he accepted and held until he retired 1891.
Bankim Chandra was one of the most famous literary figures of Bengal. He did for Bengali fiction what Michael Madhusudan Dutt had done for Bengali poetry, that is, he brought in imagination. Bankim Chandra was more fortunate than Dutt as he did not have to set up his own diction from the very start. The prose style was already standardized; what he did was to break its monotony, shear off its ponderous verbosity and give it a twist of informality and intimacy. His own style grew up as he went on writing.
After a series of novels like Mrilalini (1865), Kapalkundala (1866), Chandrasekhar (1877) and Devi Chaudhurani (1884), Bankim Chandra created his magnum opus- Anandamath (The mission house of Felicity) in1882. Being an inspiration for the freedom struggle the novel was also the source of the song "Vande Mataram" (I worship the Mother) which, set to music by Rabindranath Tagore, is the National Song of India.
Married at the young age of eleven, his first wife passed away in 1859. He later married Rajalakshmi Devi of the Sabarna Roy Choudhury family. They had three daughters. Rajlakshmi Devi was not only Bankim’s inspiration but his critic too.
Being a responsible son- in- law of the Sabarna family, Bankim was always in touch with his in- laws and participated at all the family gatherings and events.
Bankim Chandra is highly respected and honoured throughout India and is remembered as one of the greatest Bengali ever lived.