Located on PK Sana Lane, within the premises of Sri Sri Ramkrishna Ashram in Baranagar area, Mani Mandir is popularly known as Kancher Mandir or Sheesha Mandir in the locality, as the walls of the temple is made of a special type of bluish glass. Founded by Swami Satyananda, an ardent follower of Swami Abhedananda, who was one of the sixteen direct disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahansa and set against the backdrop of the quietly flowing River Hooghly, the atmosphere of the temple presents a sharp contrast against the usual commotion attached to a swarming area.
Apart from the idols of Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa Dev, Ma Sarada and Swami Avedananda, the temple has an idol of the four handed goddess Kanya Kumari, complete with her third eye, which is supposed to be a different image of goddess Kali. This is, however, a deviation from the line of the famous Belur Math, founded by Swami Vivekananda, on the west bank of River Hooghly, in the city of Howrah, which does not have any idol of any Hindu deity.
The uncommon temple, founded by Swami Satyananda, was donated by Devanand Agarwal, the owner of the Hindustan Safety Glass factory and was constructed under the supervision of Colonel Harisadhan Verma and civil Engineer Subodh Badopadhyay. It is said that, at a time when Devanand became extremely sick, his wife came to meet Swami Satyananda and begged his blessings to cure her ailing husband and subsequently, the temple was constructed in reciprocating his cure.
The elementary work of digging the earth for the construction of the temple started on 30 April 1964 and the foundation stone was laid by Swami Satyananda, along with certain sacred things, like hair of Ramakrishna Dev and Ma Sarada, a metal container used by Ma Sarada for keeping Betel leaves and a brick from the steps of the Kamarpukur house of Sri Ramakrishna. On the completion of the construction of the building, the temple was opened on 13 March 1967, the birthday of Ramkrishna Dev.
The Campus of the Mani Mandir houses two old temples of Lord Shiva and a Boys’ hostel. The temple is managed and maintained by Sri Sri Ramkrishna Ashram. Like the Belur Math, Kumari Puja is performed in the Mani Mandir, during the Durga Puja. Apart from that, every year the birth days of Sri Ramkrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Satyananda are celebrated.
Except the days of celebration, the entrance gate of the campus opens to the public twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, till the evening. During the days of celebration, the gate remains open throughout the day. However, a visit in the afternoon, presents the additional attraction of enjoying the wonderful view of the sunset on the River Hooghly.