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The Retreat's structures were built over the years in collaboration with a number of architects who visited the property from when it first served as the headquarters of Panchabhuta Conservation Foundation, an eco-conservation outfit set up in 2012 by Mangal Shetty, who returned to his home state after selling his tech company in New York. Panchabhuta has hosted academics, scientists and students in eco-design conferences and permaculture courses, and conducted research projects documenting the biodiversity of the Aghanashini estuary. When Mangal and his wife Ambika left their Bengaluru home to reside at Panchabhuta following the lockdown, it was the perfect time to groom the property as their first responsible tourism offering. With another 55 acres to their name, the Retreat is only the tip of Shetty's vision for  responsible tourism .

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