Trekking at Ettina Bhuja

Ettina Bhuja located deep inside Western Ghats, known for it's thick rain forest and wild animals, located at Shishila about 15km from Dharmasthala, Karnataka, India. This place got it's name from the look that it has when seen from far. It looks precisely like the shoulder of an ox (Ettu - Ox, Bhuja - Sholder). Yes Ettina Bhuja means shoulder of an ox. Ettina Bhuja is surrounded by many other peaks - Amedikallu peak. 

We started our trek from Anu Gowda's house. You can reach this place by bus and their house is the last stop. There is a well laid tar road to reach their house. We reached this place early in the morning. After having breakfast we started our trekking through their farm land and after crossing a river. You can easily cross this river without getting your shoes wet, as the water level is not too high. This may not be the case during monsoon. There is a temple soon after crossing the river where you can pray for a safe trek. We went on for another 30 mins where you will find a stream to the right and this is the last place to find water. Be careful in this region as this place is known for wild elephants. We could easily see that because of the fresh destruction of trees and it's dung. Villagers/Guide told us that there were 12 elephants along with a calf, which can be dangerous for us if there is an attack.

We went on and the entire trekking trail is about 8 miles from Anu Gowda's house till the peak. It takes almost four hours to reach the peak. Two third of the trekking is through thick forest and you can walk in the shade, but is steep in some of the places. Just before reaching the peak is a steep climb. Climbing the peak at the end is almost vertical and is a bit dangerous. You will have to get down and walk a bit if you want to take rest under tree shade. There is a small stream with ice cold water even during summer, just before the peak and you can check with the villagers. Check out the video below.

On one side of the peak is Dakshina Kannada and on the other side is Shimoga district. There is another way to get to the peak and on the way is an old temple which is visible when you climb on top. Many take this as an exit route. It will be a shorter trek hardly 4 kms and there is a jeep route.

Trekking during summer to this place can be a bit challenging for first timers because of high temperature and humidity. Be careful and do not stay in the forest for long time. 

Camera: Nikon D600 + Nikon 14-24mm lens.

Time lapse of Lightening and Rain in Bangalore City

It was a cloudy day and was about to rain. Usually, it doesn't rain during this time of the year (in April first week) unless there is some cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal. The temperature in Bangalore had reached almost 38 degree Celsius during day time and this first rain (in 2014) was more like nature's way of switching on air conditioner. The temperature had dropped more than ten degrees on the next day.

I was at home and just opened the window. It was nice to see lightening and heavy rain outside. So, I pulled out my camera and also, my tripod. Placed it right next to the window and focused it to infinity. I switched to manual focus and adjusted my camera settings to f4 and ISO 1600. Even though my lens had the capacity to go up to f 1.4 (which I had tried earlier), I opted for f 4 as it was too bright at f 1.4 even though it was dark outside. The street and industrial lights (light pollution) was enough to brighten up the sky.

While capturing lightening photos it's good to keep the shutter open for long time, but was not possible as I opted for time lapse feature within the camera and the lowest that I could opt for was 1 sec. Below is my first lightening and rain time lapse that I had captured.

Location: Malleshwaram, Bangalore,  India
Camera: Nikon D600 + Nikon 50 mm + Tripod

Small waterfall but great weekend fun

This is about a small, not so fa waterfall which is not so famous but a nice place to hangout on a weekend located near Dabbe Falls. This waterfall above the Dabbe waterfalls in Shimoga and is about one kilometer before reaching Dabbe Falls. Check out my previous post on Dabbe Falls here [Link].

There is a mud road/ jeep track to reach this location, but trekking all the way to this place will be even more fun. This small waterfall is hardly a few meters in height and is less dangerous. But you need to be careful as it's slippery and also water current maybe high during monsoon. Ideal time would be to go after the monsoon season so that there is less water and you can get into the water to have fun.

The reason why you need to visit this place and why I consider this place to be better than other falls is - Falls like Jog or Dabbe are few hundreds of feet in height and will be dangerous. These falls are the best to see from far, but if you want to get into risk free water and have maximum fun, then this is the place you need to spend time.

Location: Near Dabbe Falls, Shimoga, Wester Ghats, Karnataka, India
Camera: Nikon D600 + 50mm 1.4d + 14-24mm lens + Tripod