Cutting the Chai has moved to a new domain:
You can get in touch with Soumyadip at

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Vande Mataram - The Various Versions

Vande Mataram would have been the National Anthem, but similar sentiments which are dampening the 'centenary celebrations' of the song today led to its designation as the National Song "honored equally with Jana Gana Mana" and having "equal status with it."

Vande MataramBande Mataram was composed even before the Ananda Math was born. It happened in 1875 when, on a holiday, Bankim boarded a train to his native place, Kantalapada. The train passed into the outskirts of the city and glided through vast tracts of land, wrapped in enchanting green foliage, decked with multifarious flowers, nourished and nurtured by hurrying streams and beautiful lakes and unveiling the bewitching charm of nature in all its splendour. The poet's heart was thrilled with the vision of his exquisite Mother-the Bharata Mata-and he burst into song.

The song was born. But it had to reach the masses. It took about seven years for Bankim to present it to the people in the ideal setting. In no other setting it would have been more appropriate than in the historic novel, Ananda Math. Bankim had drawn inspiration from the Sannyasi Rebellion (1763-1800).

In school we preferred singing the National Anthem over the Song, not because of some personal or religious reservations, but because Tagore's composition was easier to our untuned vocal chords, than Bankim Chandra's.

Many people think differently about this song. Some say that it is the patriotic duty of all Indians to proudly sing the song, whenever they are directed to; others feel that it goes against the principle of their religion. A few like me, say that you can't beat a feeling into someone, nor does singing a song become the ultimate symbol or display of one's love for the country one holds the citizenship of. We are not an authoritarian nation, we shouldn't issue dictates. Religion before nation or nation before religion, the debate will go on.

At the Congress Session in 1896, Rabindranath Tagore sang 'Bande Mataram'. Later in 1905, Poet Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang 'Vande Mataram' in the Benares Congress Session.

And so many composers and singers have had their own renditions ever since. From Ranindranath Tagore to AR Rehman, this song had stirred the creative souls of many and therefore there are more versions of the song than dissenting ideological stances on the song.

This post isn't about the 'centenary celebrations,' it is in celebration of a song (and its multifarious renderings) which has a distinct appeal about it. It is India's true song of revolution and this post attempts to compile the various colours with which creative Indians (and others) have painted the lyric with (An informative article by Suresh Chandvankar, from the Society of Indian Record Collectors is available here). Whether September 7 is of historic importance or not, is insignificant.

Vande Mataram!
Sujalam, suphalam, malayaja shitalam,
Shasyashyamalam, Mataram!
Shubhrajyotsna pulakitayaminim,
Phullakusumita drumadala shobhinim,
Suhasinim sumadhura bhashinim,
Sukhadam varadam, Mataram!

English translation by Sri Aurobindo (Aurobindo Akroyd Ghose).

I bow to thee, Mother,
richly-watered, richly-fruited,
cool with the winds of the south,
dark with the crops of the harvests,
The Mother!
Her nights rejoicing in the glory of the moonlight,
her lands clothed beautifully with her trees in flowering bloom,
sweet of laughter, sweet of speech,
The Mother, giver of boons, giver of bliss.

[Click on the links to download / listen]

1. The official version
[MP3 1.06 MB 00:01:09 128kbps Stereo 44 kHz]

2. Rendition by Vishnupant Pagnis. From a 1928 HMV record. The music is set in raag saarang instead of the usual desh. Even the order of the stanzas are different.
[RM 671 KB 00:02:44]

3. Lata Mangeshkar sings in Anand Math (1952). Music by Hemant Kumar.
[MP3 1.26 MB 00:02:46 64kbps Stereo 22kHz]

4. MS Subbulakshmi, sings a Tamil version. Translated by Subramaniam Bharati.
[MP3 5.64 MB 00:06:09 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

5. By Mogubai Kurdikar. From a 1947 78rpm record. Music VD Ambhaikar.
[MP3 1.05 MB 00:01:09 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

6. The Rashtriya Swamsevak Sang (RSS) version.
[MP3 3.84 MB 00:03:20 192kbps Stereo 44kHz]

7. All India Radio's (AIR) signature tune followed by Vande Mataram (Vividh Bharati).
[RM 209 KB 00:01:47] Link updated

8. Kannada version. Lata Mangeshkar and SP Balasubrahmanyam
[RM 651 KB 00:04:17]

9. SP Balasubrahmanyam again (2003).
[MP3 3.07 MB 00:03:21 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

10. AR Rehman's Vande Mataram (Revival) from the album Maa Tujhe Salaam celebrating 50 years of India's Independence.
[MP3 5.27 MB 00:07:39 96kbps Stereo 44kHz]

11. AR Rehman's heartfelt salute to the motherland. The title track the album Vande Mataram - Maa Tujhe Salaam.
[MP3 5.66 MB 00:06:11 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

12. That wonderful video from BharatBala Productions. Conceived and directed by Bharatbala and Kanika Myer. Music Ranjit Barot. Vocals Lata Mangeshkar.
[SWF 00:04:53]

13. Some more from Lata's vocal chords. Music Ranjit Barot.
[MP3 2.46 MB 00:05:26 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

14. Yet more Lata.
[MP3 1.33 MB 00:02:55 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

15. A slowish chorus.
[MP3 969 KB 00:02:04 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

16. Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota's patriotic pitch.
[MP3 1.35 MB 00:02:57 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

17. A videshi version. A woman, David Mills, sings about love and nature opposite the chorus of children.
[MP3 2.89 MB 00:03:09 128kbps Stereo 44kHz] [Lyrics]

18. An unrecognised version (If you know more about this, please let me know).
[MP3 2.49 MB 00:02:43 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

19. Another unidentified version (Information needed).
[MP3 4.41 MB 00:0 kbps Stereo 44kHz]

20.Instrumental Vande Mataram. Performed by Sachin PK.
[RM 151 KB 00:01:00]

21. Another instrumental. By Ranjan Sharma. Instruments used santoor, sarod, tabla, pakhawaj and tanpura.
[MP3 1.69 MB 00:01:50 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

22. One more instrumental.
[MP3 300 KB 00:00:38 64kbps Mono 16kHz]

23. Seattle 2005. Vocals Anitha Kamath. Acoustic guitar Jay Swaminathan. Lead guitar Prasanna Veeraswamy. Bass Samuel Devasahayam. Keyboard, sax Sanjib Saha. Keyboard, sitar Prasanna Ganapule. Percussion Aashish Shanbhag, Shriram Nanjundaiah. Drums Vivek Venkatachalam.
[MP3 4.32 MB 00:04:43 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

24. From Nirmal Bhakti's Pure Devotion.
[MP3 3.69 MB 00:04:02 128kbps Stereo 44kHz]

25. Rajan P Parrikar's rendition. Raag desh.
[RM 261 KB 00:01:03]

26. Recent filmi takes. From Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (2001). Music Sandesh Shandilya. Vocals Usha Uthup.
[RM 282 KB 00:01:49]

27. And the latest. Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006). Music Shantanu Moitra. Lyrics Swanand Kirkire. Vocals Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Pranab Biswas.
[MP3 3.69 MB 00:04:01 128kbps Stereo 44kHz] [Lyrics]


28. Pandit Omkarnath Thakur. Sung in raag kafi (1938-39) Thanks Yadbhavishya for the link.
[RA 1.06 MB 00:04:29]

29. From the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) website.
[RAM 92 KB 00:00:59]

30 Aao Bachchon Tumhe Dikhaye from the movie Jagriti (1954). Music Hemant Kumar. Lyrics Pradeep
[MP3 248 KB 00:04:16 8kbps Mono 16 kHz]

Image courtesy: Sony Music India

[The external links are for reference purposes only. The owner of this blog is not responsible for their contents. User discretion is advised.]


educatedunemployed said...

Thanks for the translation.Getting it was the agenda for tonight.Didn't realise it would be a one stop over.I am also amazed at how many sources you have put together.Awesome effort at that.Having heard Vande Mataram, AIR version for 18 years of my life every morning before heading for school,I am still moved by it.

bvn said...

Great collection man...thats one hell of an effort...Great post !! *its a very nice song,why do we need to destroy its beauty by enforcing it*

dwaipayan said...

good research!!!

I like this song immensely!! to some extent it's because of the sweet sanskrit language.. and whenever I hear this makes me kinda nostalgic. it reminds me of the parade we did on 50th independence day of India. all of us from our school were walking in the parade singing the patriotic songs to writer's building and there we joined the celebration.

certain times, when in lonely evening while taking a walk in our terrace, I get overwhelmed by the natural beauty...I started singing..VANDE MATARAM

Appu said...

This is a unifying song portraying the spirit of India. Sad that in its 100th year, we are just ending up dishonoring it in various ways.

Anonymous said...

Thats a great work.

A compilation of electronica versions of Vande Mataram.

An exhaustive FAQ on Vandemataram in Outlook.

I cant wait for the Himesh version.

Great work again!


yadbhavishya said...

That is an awesome compilation.
My friend had compiled some last year though not as big a list as yours.
Here is the link [external blog link]

I learnt the full version (the original!) when I was a kid. When it was sung in full during the recent congress session, many leaders expressed great surprise. In fact we should all retrospect on why we chose to precis it in the first place and then later rediscover it.

Thanks again.

Manoj said...

My personal favorite take of Vande Mataram was done by Ilaiyaraja in the movie 'Kaala Paani', Priyadarshan's epic movie starring Mohanlal, set in the jails of Andaman & Nicobar during the freedom struggle. The arrangemen/ vocal harmonies make this an exquisite number. The lyrics, if I remember right, were written by Javed Akhtar.

Music India Online

I wish I had a mp3 (I do have the Tamil version, but sadly enough, it was done as a solo by Mano that pales in comparison to the Hindi version)

raj said...

Thanks for this fantastic collection.

Its great listening to these different versions but my favorite is the one from Ananda Math.

Anonymous said...

My favourite is the Anand Math version. AR Rehmans interpretation comes next.

संजय बेंगाणी said...

बहुत खुब. आपने अच्छा कार्य किया हैं. काफी उपयोगी जानकारी जुटाई हैं. साधुवाद.

Paavani said...

Very informative.
Most of version I didn’t hear.
I like A R rahman one.

San said...

A lovely read, I must admit for myself this was a rather informative post as I don't really know much about the Indian anthem or national song.

But I must say each time i hear this song it touches the soul, and thanks for all the different versions to the song :)

Rajesh Segu said...

Thanks for all these valuable post. I never could have found it anywhere at a single spot.

I have no words to actually express my emotions.....

Rajesh Segu

--Sunrise-- said...

wow... you sure have done your research... thank you for that - enjoyed reading it! am downloading some of them now... :)

at the risk of sounding extremely naive, why do "others feel that it goes against the principle of their religion"? the song seems to have nothing to do with religion?

"We are not an authoritarian nation, we shouldn't issue dictates." -- ahaaa. but we are Indians ji... it's in our GENES to tell others what to do/our opinions on things that don't concern us... ;) but yeah, i agree with you. the debate shall, of course, continue...

PS - thank you for the blogroll too!

Dr.Deekshitulu said...

Thanks for the great work done. Most of the tunes are not the actual original tune. I request you to put the full version of Vande mataram in the tune sung by every Indian on NET.

Soumyadip said...

Educatedunemployed I too heard the AIR version after years. And it bought back pleasant memories.

BVN You're right. Enforcement brings about resistance. This isn't the way out.

Dwaipayan Vande Mataram or Bande Mataram isn't exactly Sanskrit, rather it is in heavily Sanskritised Bangla, what is known as Sadhu Bhasha (Language of Sages).

Appu Attempting to inject petty politics in patriotism spoils things.

Anonymous 1 Thanks for the links. I wouldn't want the nasal irritant to lay his hands (or nose or whatever) on the song.

Yadbhavishya I had a feeling that I couldn't be the first to attempt at such a compilation. Glad that you proved my hunch right. Thanks for the links. I've borrowed one for the post.

Manoj That's one that I missed (there'll be many more). Thanks for the link. Ilayaraja is one of the best in the business that we have.

Raj Hemant Kumar definitely did a good job of it.

Anonymous 2 Rehman's voice in the song has an intensity about it, and that multiplies the feeling.

Sanjay Your comment is the first ever that this blog received in Hindi written in Devanagri (most, including me, take the easy way out writing in Roman). I will always cherish this. And thanks.

Paavani Rehman is GOOD.

San It was very informative for me too compiling this whole thing.

Rajesh Thanks for the appreciation. It is what that keeps me going.

Sunrise Well, the song does have 'something' to do with religion, it's only that things tend to get blown out of proportion. Genetics always has a role to play, but now we have started playing with genes too.

Dr.Deekshitulu I'm looking for that. Will post a link.

dwaipayan said...

is it?? I have read loads of sadhubhasha.. even I tried the bankimchandra novels and vidyasagar.. but no where I found it as sanskritarian as vande mataram!! are u sure it's not totaly sanskrit??

anyway, who cares?? be it sanskrit or sadhubhasa... my feelings about the song will remain unchanged..

Kanchan said...

Hi a wonderful collection. Would you by any chance have Dilip Roy's rendition? Kanchan Gupta, Delhi.

renu ahuja said...

Soumyadip ,
वन्दे मातरम,

Thanks a lot for discribing about this great song so beautifully,and giving regard for patriotism.

I find this post as:-
1.A great Research work.
2.YOu being a real patriotic person.
3.This how a Journalist's analaysis for any subject is different from a common man, as you have uploaded various versions of VANDEY MATRUM.

Hats off to your knowledge and analysis.
Finally I can only express in my style,
ho jab dil me lagan,
desh per qurbaan kyoon naa jaayen hum,
har dil, ye gaaye fasaana...VANDEY VANDEY MATRUM.

Pramod Beligere said...

Thank you for your efforts in compiling such a wonderful collection.

One version which (I think) is not included here is the rendition in the movie The Making of the Mahatma, with music by Vanraj Bhatia.

Has anyone here heard this? If you know an online source, please do post a link!


Shaswat said...

Hi Guys,

I wanted to lookup the lyrics and the translation of this one for sometime. Finally found the time. It is no doubt a great song and I have heard atleast three versions of it, the AIR one, the AR Rehman one and the one that was used in the movie Anand Math (i think sung by Lata Mageshkar). Just wanted to say the following... everytime I hear the Anand Math version...something happens heart beat does go up...maybe I am just a romantic bong ... but it does stir feelings in me ...and I wouldn't even rate myself as overly patriotic.

No other version (the AIR or AR Rehman) nor the National Anthem evoke these feelings in me.

Did you know that Jan Gana Man was actually written in honour of some brit royalty (forget who it was) visiting India. I wonder why our wise leaders chose Jan Gana Man over Vande Mataram as our National Anthem.

Anyways...thanks Soumyadip... great effort ...

Anonymous said...

could any one send me the video of AR rehman's "Maa tujhe salaam" or tell me from where i can download it from? my email ID is ""

Prashant said...

thanks a lot has been my first diwali out side india and boy did'nt i miss it...i dont give a sh** if people use my vande mataram as political or communal still remains the song that makes me proud of my country.

Prashant said...

Shashwat -- Its about interpretation, tommorow some fu*ker can translate vande matram as an ode to his mother and fwd to 20 blokes like u..will u believe him..? I will still sing my national anthem for love of my country.
In case u dont know..if Jan Gan man is our National Anthem, vande matram is our national song.
Perhaps Rahman should do a Jan Gan Man now.

Anonymous said...

I am Looking For The following version in MP3. If any body is having please Sent to me

Rajan P Parrikar's rendition.

This is to make Repblic day greetings for my website

Please Post it here and Post the link to me at



Weltschmerz said...

Somehow, through all the versions that almost 'clutter' the concept of the song, the one that most appeals the first version. Simply for the fact that the first stanza is easy for most to sing.

But of all the versions, some of which i heard for the first time, thanks to the post, the one by Lata for Anandmath defines Vande Mataram to me.
Although, being the south indian, i equally love MS's version in tamil.

Great job, by the way.

Weltschmerz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnswerMan (aka: ruben) said...


Thankyou..... Awesome collection.

And umm,.... the ARRAHMAN "Maa thuje salaam 5.66 mb" (thats the one i needed) is not getting downloaded. Everything else works, still on the filelodge ( link: )host ?

and please reply using my email address.

AnswerMan (aka: ruben) said...

Hi. Got the file, Thankyou.

my friend said he would come to my house and give me the CD, but he hasnt shown up yet.

But this was just 2MB, I was looking for the 5.66 MB

Thankyou.I appreciate it, I'll let you know when I make a video (that I'm planning) with that music



PS: YOur email address mail@cuttingthechai Doesnt work. Failed twice, I had to google you out. Let me know in mail if you have a reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Can someone please mail me the all india radio's vande mataram. the one they play at 6 in the morning.
Please mail me at
Thanks already...

Alok das said...

gr8 collection yaar..
this is the first time i m ever writing a comment on any site..
this site is really a good collection of the rare songs..
i really appreciate the effort.
keep it up.!!!

Anonymous said...

Good Job ! I couldnt Download the AIR signature tone followed by Vande Maatharam. I would be really thankful to you if you coul;d help me in finding AIR signature tune in any audio format.

If U get send me a note on

Soumyadip said...

Hrishi Thanks for pointing out the dead link. I've emailed you the correct link from where you can download the AIR signature tune.

JP said...

No. 1 Official version cannot be is broken..

Soumyadip said...

JP Thanks for pointing that out. I've fixed the link. Look for the "Download National Song" link to the right in the landing page.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful compilation, but there is still one version by a female singer (dont know who, though i strongly believe its shreya ghoshal), probably a non film version, which was constantly being aired on all fm channels about 1-3 years ago. It was a brilliant remake, with a different twist to the original tune. I just cant find it anywhere.

Dont have much leads, but can anyone help me find it? The only clue i have is it was a rage on the FM channels a while ago.

Soumyadip said...

Anonymous I am not aware of the version. But will try to look for it. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

amazing! thanks so much! i was looking for rehman's revival version which i got from here.

Soumyadip said...

Anonymous Glad to be of some help.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am an American adoptive parent of two Indian kids and want them to learn about their heritage. It has not been hard for them to learn Jana Gana Mana but this one is harder for all of us. I spent a long time researching the song on the internet and your post is the most comprehensive one I've found.

I really appreciate all your links and your post about your own experience with Vande Mataram. I downloaded the official version and AR Rahman's. You might be getting a few more hits as I let other parents know about it!

Thanks for leaving this post up and for taking good care of the links!

Anonymous said...

Amazing..... Gr8! research work...

Ashish said...

You indeed have a fantastic collection. I'm searching for a version of "Vande Mataram" which I heard on the FM radio on independence day few years back. It was completely sung by a lady (Not Lata ji) and in a very different tune than the original. That I am longing to hear once again but I do not have any more clues. Wish you luck if you ever chance upon that...

Amish Shah said...

Hi... its a wonderful compilation...I was looking for downloading Vande Mataram from Anand Math by Lata Mangeshkar, but its not working somehow... Any problem with that ?....

india-awake said...


superb research.

Shankar said...

the unknown female singer is Kaushiki Chakravarthy. Check her version in the songs Tarana and Taranga from the Album Vande Mataram Vol.2