Who Let The ‘DOCS’ Out? A Getaway Fun & Frolic Spree at Tusk & Dawn-Sakleshpur 

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Who Let The ‘DOCS’ Out? A Getaway Fun & Frolic Spree at Tusk & Dawn-Sakleshpur


Mangaluru: Who let the docs out, Woo, woo, woo,..Who let the docs out…Woo, woo, woo…The party was nice, the party was pumping..Ah yepee ah yo..And everybody having a ball..Yepee ah yo…And tell the fellas stop the name callin’…Yepee ah yo! Yeh, that’s right! This is my revise version of the song “Who Let the Dogs Out” by Baha Men, and if you like to hear the tune, check it out on YouTube. A bunch of doctors got “OUT” of their hectic work and from the hustle and bustle of the noisy City life, and headed to a calm and naturalistic destination, to be amidst green atmosphere, surrounded by hills, forests and close to wild life.

Surely, “Life is greener on the other side.” Desks. Keyboards clacking. Schedules and Deadlines. Homework. Traffic. Horns. Patients whining and complaining. Screams and Shouts. Pollution. You’ll experience them all in our Mangaluru City. In the midst of all this chaos one does wonder, what the other side really holds. It’s time to get away. To get out and get lost. To somehow make sense of all this madness. And for that matter, the doctors just needed to get out, and they did during the weekend for two long days. And they found the right place to experience some fun and frolic at the “Tusk & Dawn” Resort in Agani Village, Hanbal in Sakleshpur Taluk.

“Tusk & Dawn” was the indeed the right place to be, which has been rated as one among the top 10 monsoon destinations by Discover India. But even though we were not during the monsoon time, but it was also a right time to be there. Truly it was a Getaway! To get out and dive to the edge of civilization, where the road ends, and a secret paradise awaits. Welcome to Tusk & Dawn- nestled in the magnificent Western ghats, it is the final frontier. Surrounded by mountains, evergreen Shola forests and nothing else. You could walk the wild side or pump up your adrenalin with an off-road drive. Or you could just laze around soaking in the nature’s beauty and bounty. The place is first the beginning. The rest was up to us to explore and experience, and the story is ours to write. So here I go….

Starting early Saturday morning, yours truly along with a bevy of local doctors set out a journey to a place quite and calm from where we started. Stopping in between the journey twice, to quench our thirst with “Chilled Ones” and also to relieve ourselves. Reaching closer to our destination, our Toyota Innova treads slowly on the almost non-existent road for eight odd kms. We heave a sigh of relief as the resort gate looms ahead. The sight of pretty, tiled-roof cottages scattered over a grassy terrain on the foothills of a mountain makes me feel at ease instantly.

The managing partner of the Resort, Manoj Rai and the hefty manager walk out to welcome us with a cheerful smile. They were followed by their pet dogs, “Johnny”a Great Dane breed, and “Tony”- a Labrador, and also their two cute black-colured “Siblings” Shiny and Minny, who also welcomed us wagging their tails- and these four-legged “Man’s Best Friends” remained besides us until our departure. It was a quick check-in and we walk towards our cottage. The cottage has large, wall-sized glass windows providing a view of the surrounding woods. The room was basic without the frills of a luxury resort. A quirky note titled “Who’s Buggin’ Who?” on the bathroom mirror asks us to be mindful about the harmless insects. The bathroom has a small garden and a glass roof. Very Interesting to note, as You feel you are with nature when you take nature’s call?.

Our whole gang comprised of a dozen doctors namely- Dr Sachidanand Rai-President of Indian Medical Association (IMA)-Mangaluru Chapter-the Man behind this Unique Getaway, Dr Nagraj Shetty ( Physician), Dr Keshav Bhat (Facial Surgeon), Dr Rajesh K B ( Dentist), Dr Vishnu Prabhu (Ophthalmologist), Dr Pramal Shetty ( Anaesthetic), Dr Ashfaque ( Surgeon), Dr Deepak Rai ( Urologist), Dr Rajkumar (Emergency Medicine), Dr Karthik (Radiologist), Dr Sanjay Shahri ( ICU Specialist), Dr Alam Nawaz ( Physician), Dr Bharath B ( Emergency Medicine). Joined by entrepreneurs- Ram Rathan Naik, Suraj Alva, Kishore Shetty, Manoj Rai, Madhukar Rai, Sandeep Shetty; Brig I N Rai (Retd ); Suprith Alva (Architect), Subodh Rai ( Administrator-Nitte University), Sanjay B (Govt Executive), and (Dr) Alfie D’souza (Journo)- and Yours Truly, during that weekend turned into a Orthopaedic/Gynecologist?

After freshening up, and socializing under the shady trees, it was 2 pm, time to head down to the dining area for a steaming, hot lunch of Malnad specialties. Rice, steaming sambar, spicy chicken curry, papadam, vegetables sauté with grated coconut and payasam make for a delightful lunch. Unable to have stopped ourselves from over-eating, we relaxed under the shade of trees, while others cuddled with their pillows in bed. Walking around the area, we encountered ourselves with pet animals, few guinea fowls, and could hear peacocks scream in the distance, but Thank God, there was no trumpeting of elephants! The grounds are well maintained with clean grass gardens and myriad flowers in bloom – pink gladiolus, blue carnations, yellow and orange marigolds, white hibiscuses and red roses. The small pond is home to a family of ducks.

Late evening a bunch of us jump on a jeep, all set out to explore the resort with the resort driver. He gives us a brief description of the resort- “The resort is spread over 70 acres. This used to be cardamom gardens and was converted into a jungle resort few years ago. Our USP lies in the balance that we create between a home-stay and a jungle retreat. We have our own stream from which we tap water. We use the waterfall to generate electricity for internal use as well. Occasionally we see elephants come into our area, but no harm-they only get irritated when our dogs bark at them”.

It was a adventurous jeep journey through the muddy and rocky road up to the top of the hill- and this was the location where we could make a few phone calls, right from Top of the World? The Jeep rolls ahead on unfamiliar terrain. We see a small waterfall, stroll through the humongous Kadamane Estates and watch the sun set into the Western Ghats. We are back at the resort at around 7.15 pm for some hot tea/drinks and snacks after a thrilling off-road return trip.

The only bad thing about this place is that there is no network, and if you want to stay from people bugging you through phone calls, this is the place to be. For two days we were all “Mobile Phone Free”- thanks to Airtel, BSNL and other service providers. If these docs, entrepreneurs and others really loved their wives, GF’s or friends, the only place they could make a phone call to them, is by climbing to the top of the hill which was few Kms away- and guess what- no one cared nor bothered to make a call to their loved ones?

Around 8 pm, the staff starts the campfire in the garden center. It was time to socialize, have more fun, music and dance, to make it a “Saturday Night Fever”! . The chill in the air and the starry sky make for a wonderful companion as we look into the flames. Dr Vishnu Prabhu, Dr Nagraj, Dr Ashfaque, Ram Rathan Naik led the dancing spree, which was later joined by many other revelers. And when dinner was ready, everyone dashed to the dining hall, to savour once gain the  Malnad delicacies, with a touch of Kudla flavor. Kori Rotti, Pundi etc you name it- and we got it!

Sunday morning, a bunch of us after a quick freshen up and hot tea/coffee started trekking to reach to the top of the mountain nearby. After an hour of trekking through a steep path full of dense ferns and tropical bushes, we reach the top. The view of the nearby Murkandbetta mountain is splendid. We trek down a different path and see the resort’s stream and waterfall on the way. Returning back, after a fulfilling breakfast of Pundi ( rice balls), either with sambar/chutney or chicken curry sambhar and Sheera, we spend rest of the day lazing around in the idyllic setting. A few minutes later, it was once again socializing time, until lunch, after which we returned back feeling rejuvenated.

Before lunch, it was an announcement time by Dr Vishnu Prabhu, where he requested everyone to donate their eyes after death, and made them to take an oath. In between his briefing, he was pounded with a bunch of queries, which really lost his mind, but it was all on the lighter side of vein-just for the fun of it, since everyone loves Dr Vishnu Maam! “If every one of you donates eyes after death, in 10-15 years India will be Blindness Free” said Dr Vishnu, and in response, a member in the group replied, “How about the eye-glasses that I am wearing. Do you want that too?”. Ha…If you are willing to donate your eyes, call Dr Vishnu Prabhu (Nayana Nethralaya) at 0824 249 1716, 9845081716

Finally, to sum it up with this story- There is usually a broad line between civilization and wilderness. But somehow at Tusk & Dawn that lines seem to fade into oblivion. As one steps out of their cozy cabin to walk around, little treats of wilderness magically appear. The tiny world of insects and butterflies. Myriad colours and hues paint their backs, fronts and wings. Walk around. Up the path into the Shola and one can discover more of this magic. In secret hiding places, at select auspicious times, there emerges a flash of beauty as orchids bloom. Rare. Endemic and ethereal. Almost bizarre this world of tiny tots. You’ll find it all around you at Tusk & Dawn.

Explore the many trekking paths that surround the area. Paths that invisibly line every mountain. Through streams, into forests, over hills and into valleys. Walking is the best way to discover more of these little wonders. As starters, one can easily spend a day just soaking in the freshness, greenery and the environment. The short Jeep ride leaves you breathless on top of the mountain as you can soak in the 360-degree panoramic view. It is a photographer’s delight and watching the sunset amidst these mountains is an experience you will never forget. The 360-degree view and photography opportunity is nonparallel. By then the sun is setting and gives you a never before experience. On reaching back, get ready for dinner set around our unique campfire. An ideal opportunity to discover your own talent in singing or dancing.

So if you are looking to escape mundane city life and enjoy nature at fullest, Tusk and Dawn is the place for you – Best rated jungle retreat Resort in Sakleshpur. Based on our experience through this story, it’s your turn to make up your mind and head to Sakleshpur’s perfect weekend getaway- “Tusk & Dawn” Resort- To get out and get lost! .Tusk & Dawn Resort, Agani Village, Hanbal Post, Salkeshpur Taluk, Sakleshpur, Phone: 098455 03354; info@tuskanddawn.com

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