We have designed and built three cost effective observatories, in distinct models, which can house Schmidt – Cassegrain type small telescopes having aperture sizes up to 16 inches. Using the available small telescopes, we provided the people of Manipura State in the far north-east corner of India the opportunity to observe directly with their own eyes the rare, spectacular events of the solar eclipse of January 15, 2010, lunar eclipse of December 10, 2011 and the transit of Venus of June 6, 2012. Apart from sharing a platform with the public for astronomy education and popularization through public outreach programs such as workshops, seminars and night watch programs, we have also developed a laboratory infrastructure and gained expertise in observational techniques based on photoelectric photometry, CCD imaging, CCD photometry and spectroscopy. Our team has become a partner in the ongoing international ‘Orion project’ headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, USA which will be producing high quality photometric and spectroscopic data for five stars in the Orion constellation, namely Betelgeuse (alpha Orionis), Rigel (beta Orionis), Mintaka (delta Orionis), Alnilam (epsilon Orionis) and Alnitak (zeta Orionis). In the present paper, the authors would like to give a detailed report of their activities for the growth of astronomy in the state of Manipur, India.