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.