(Around 1720—around 1785)
Manju was born in an ordinary Jain Parwar family in village Kumhedi in Distt. Jhansi around 1720. He could not receive education as he had lost his parents in childhood. To try his luck for small earning he left his house and after facing much hardships, to the stage of starvation, reached Nagpur around 1740- 45. He set up a small business there.
Fortune favoured his honest efforts. He achieved sucess in business and had his access in the court of Raja Mukund Dev of Cuttack. The Maratha Chief Raghoji Bhonsle captured Nagpur around 1750. In 1751 while he captured Orissa from the Nawab of Bengal, he appointed Manju as his Modi. Soon ofter he was also appointed incharge of the Supplies Deptt.
Impressed by the intelligence and loyalty of Manju, Raghoji appointed him his Chowdhary in the court of the ruler of Cuttack. While Raghoji was busy in defending himself from the possible attack of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Aliwardi Khan, Nawab of Bengal, attacked Orissa to recapture it.
Brave Manju Chowdhary organised the army and repulsed the attack. In recognition of his courage and bravery Raghoji and the ruler of Qrissa appointed him Diwan at Cuttack. He was also granted Jagir. Manju Chowdhary constructed a big new market in Cuttack which even today is known as Chowdhary Bazar. He built a big Jain temple at Khandagiri hills around 1760.
He invited Bhattarak Surendrakirti to Cuttack from Amer in 1780 where he composed Jiyeshtha Jinwar Puja Vratkatha. In 1782 while Manju Chowdhary visited his native place Kumhedi he got a copy of Punyashrava Kathakosh made by Achal Singh Pradhan. He was known as Punyadhikari for his services to the Jain religion. He expired around 1785.