Ettina Bhuja trek – 6 things you need to know

Ettina Bhuja
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The magnificent Ettina Bhuja is a part of the Charmadi ghat in Karnataka at an altitude of 4265 ft. and offers beautiful view of the entire region.

The term Ettina Bhuja literally translates to Ox’s shoulder because the shape of the peak looks like one.

It is also called Shishila Gudda by the locals there. It is one of the unexplored treks in Karnataka, which is near Mudigere.

It is a short trek; hence it is recommended to come over with a weekend plan, stay overnight and explore nearby places.

How to reach Ettina Bhuja

Ettina Bhuja
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The closest village for the trek is Mudigere town; direct overnight buses run from Bengaluru and other main cities of Karnataka to Mudigere. 

You can take this bus around 10-11 PM and reach the next day at 4-5:00 AM. 

The best option after getting to Mudigere to save time is to take a local rickshaw to the start point of the trek (Sri Nanya Bhairaveshwara temple, Byrapura). They charge around INR 600 for this ride.

The road leading up to the start point is accessible via private vehicle, and the journey is beautiful and misty. So, you can also take your vehicle to the start point of the trek and park it near the temple.

Trek Route & Difficulty

Ettina Bhuja
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You can do the trek from two locations, Shishila village & Bhairaveshwara temple, Byrapura. Here we will talk about the one starting from the latter because the one starting from Shishila village is difficult.

The trek duration is about 1 to 1.5 hours, and you cover a distance of 3-3.5 kms. It is an easy trek; however, the final section is a vertical climb to reach the top of the peak.

It is ideal to start the trek early in the morning by 6-6:30 AM so you can avoid the crowd and the beautiful golden hour from the top of the peak.

This trek is known for its panoramic views of the valley & the lush green forest trails post monsoons.

The trek can be divided into 3 sections: 

  • The start point to the forest trail: This part of the trek is through a jungle & can hear the sound of nature early in the morning. You will take about 15-25 mins to complete this section.
  • From the forest trail to the 2nd viewpoint: The course starts getting steep from this point onwards. This viewpoint offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. Time taken: 25-30 mins.
  • 2nd viewpoint to the peak: The last section will take another 30 mins as it tends to get a bit steep, and the final patch is a rocky climb where one needs to be careful. The top provides breathtaking views of the western ghats of Karnataka.

Important Information

  1. Before the lockdown, there was an entry fee of INR 250, and the authorities provided a local guide for a group of 10; however, there has been no entry fee or local guides recently.
  2. The trek starts at 6:00 AM and closes at 3:00 PM.
  3. The trek is advised after the monsoon ends because the valley is at its prettiest during this time, the entire valley is covered by fog, and even the drive to Mekanagadde is misty, which is a sight in itself.

Essential Things to Carry for the Trek

Packaging wisely is essential to make the most of your Ettina Bhuja trekking experience. Here are some must-have items for your backpack:

  • Sturdy trekking shoes for a comfortable and safe trek
  • Ample water and energy drinks to stay hydrated
  • Snacks and energy bars to keep you fueled
  • Sunscreen, cap, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun
  • First aid kit with essential medications and bandages
  • A camera to capture the stunning vistas along the way
  • A light backpack to carry your essentials without weighing you down

Safety Precautions and Tips

While embarking on the Ettina Bhuja trek, it is crucial to prioritize your safety. Here are some essential safety precautions and tips to keep in mind:

  • Trek with a certified guide who is familiar with the route and terrain.
  • Wear appropriate trekking gear and clothing to protect yourself from injuries and harsh weather conditions.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the trek by drinking water at regular intervals.
  • Pace yourself and take breaks whenever needed to avoid exhaustion.
  • Do not litter; respect the natural environment by carrying back all your waste.
  • Follow instructions from the guide and stay on the designated path.
  • In case of any emergency or discomfort, inform the guide immediately.

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Things to do & see

Ettina Bhuja
Magajahalli Falls (Click on image for credits)
  1. You can stay overnight in the mystical village of Mekanagadde. There are many homestays you can explore in this area.
  2. If you are travelling in your vehicle, you can even go to the Magajahalli/Abbi waterfalls at a distance of 12kms approximately.
  3. Devaramane Viewpoint: It is an hour’s ride from Mekanagadde village & is a good place to enjoy the sunset and return back to your homestay.

A mesmerising video of the Ettina Bhuja trek

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The Ettina Bhuja trek is a moderately difficult trek. However, the difficulty level of the Ettina Bhuja trek depends on various factors such as the trekker’s physical fitness and prior experience.

The trek involves steep climbs and rocky terrains, making it a moderate to challenging trek. Overall, the Ettina Bhuja trek can be physically demanding but the stunning views make it a rewarding experience.

Ettina Bhuja trek is located in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. The trek is situated in the Chikmagalur district and passes through the beautiful and serene forests of the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. The starting point of the trek is near the small village of Kumaralli and the trek concludes at the Ettina Bhuja peak, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

The best time to trek Ettina Bhuja is from November to February, during the winter months. During this time, the weather is pleasant and suitable for trekking, with cool temperatures and clear skies.

The monsoon season, from June to September, can make the trail slippery and challenging, and is not the ideal time to trek. In the summer months, from March to May, the temperature can be hot, making it a strenuous trek. Hence, the winter months are considered the best for the Ettina Bhuja trek.

Ettina Bhuja is approximately 280 kilometers from Bengaluru, the capital city of Karnataka, India. The quickest way to reach Ettina Bhuja from Bengaluru is by road, which takes about 6 to 7 hours by car. 

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