Originally named ‘Yamuna’, Joshi was born in Kalyan, where her family had been landlords before experiencing financial losses. As it was the practice at that time and due to pressure from her family, Anandi was married at the age of nine to Gopalrao Joshi, a widower almost twenty years her senior.
After marriage, Yamuna’s husband renamed her ‘Anandi’. Gopalrao Joshi worked as a postal clerk in Kalyan. Later, he was transferred to Alibag, and then, finally, to Calcutta (today, Kolkata). He was a progressive thinker, and supported education for women, which was not very prevalent at the time.
At the age of fourteen, Anandibai gave birth to a boy, but the child lived only for ten days because the medical care necessary for his survival was unavailable. This situation proved to be a turning point in Anandibai’s life, and inspired her to become a physician.