Posted on July 09, 2020 at 1:40 PM
Charmadi Ghat is the one among the many western ghats that are known for its outstanding scenery. It is a stretch of about 25 km from Kottigehara of Chikmagaluru to Charmadi of Dakshina Kannada district. To relish the beauty of the Ghat, you can trek to a series of mountains that come within the Charmadi belt. Ettina Bhuja is one such mountain that is a part of the Charmadi range at an altitude of 1300 m (4,265 ft). It is situated in the Mudigere range of Chikmagalur district. Ettina Bhuja meaning Ox’s shoulder is one of the unexplored treks in Karnataka. Locals call this trek as Shishila Gudda trek.
Panoramic views of the Charmadi range and Shishila valley can be seen from the peak. It is surrounded by many more hills like Deepadakallu, Amedikallu, Ombattu Gudda and Jenukallu Gudda.
What to keep an eye out for ?
Perspective on the Ettina Bhuja ?
A unique structure of the peak that looks like Ox’s shoulder or hump. You spot this just after trekking for five minutes from the temple.
This resemblance of the structure got the name as Ettina Bhuja trek.
Ettina Bhuja Trek-First viewpoint-Indiahikes-Aniruddha Kalghatgi Watch out for the shape of Ox’s hump. You will see this resemblance just after 5 minutes of a trek from the temple. A grand welcome to the forest with the background music of birds chirping Trekking inside the forest is the most thrilling part of the trek. The birds calling in the background and the leaves rustling in the wind, you will notice a sudden change in the surroundings as soon as you enter the forest.
Ettina bhuja trek-Forest entrance-Indiahikes-Nayana After 15 to 20 minutes of a trek from the temple, you will enter a forest. This is the starting point of the forest. Home to a variety of birds and leeches. Picture by Nayana Jambhe A splendid view of the Charmadi range and Shishila valley The best reward of the trek is when you reach the peak. The view of the lush green valley and the mountains is astonishing. A perfect setting for reflecting with the view of the ranges of Charmadi and Shishila valley
Trail Information on the Ettina Bhuja Trek Ettina Bhuja trek can be done by 2 routes. One is from Shishila village and the other is from Sri Nanya Bhairaveshwara temple, Byrapura
A guide is a must if you are trekking from Shishila village. There is no proper trail to follow. This route also involves many stream crossings. Some of these streams are always above knee level with high current and can be a bit tricky, dangerous for first-timers.
The trekking from Byrapura village is pretty straight forward. You do not have to take a guide if you are an experienced trekker. The Ettina Bhuja Trek can be divided into 3 sections. Here is the trail information for Ettina Bhuja that starts from Byrapura, Sri Nanya Bhairaveshwara temple.
Ø Section I:
Trek Distance: 800 m Trek Duration: 15 minutes GPS coordinates of the temple: 12°59’13.0″N, 75°34’27.8″E GPS coordinates of the forest entrance: 12°58’52.68″N, 75°34’18.27″EYour trek starts from the Sri Nanya Bhairaveshwara temple. It was built in the 13th century. This temple was a part of the fort which Hoysalas built. It is believed that you can hear OM sound from the temple bell.
There is no place to freshen up here and no drinking water source. You have to fill your water bottles in Sattiganahalli before you start the trek.
Ettina bhuja trek-Nanya bhairaveshwara temple-Indiahikes-Nayana The entrance of Sri Nanya Bhairaveshwara temple. Picture by Nayana Jambhe If the weather is clear, you can see the peak from the temple itself. There are many small hills around the temple from where you can also see the peak of Ettina Bhuja.
Ettina bhuja trek-View from the trek-Indiahikes-Nayana The peak of Ettina Bhuja can be seen from a close-by hill near the temple. Picture by Nayana Jambhe Fifty meters before the end of the temple, you can see a small trail that starts. It is towards the south-west direction of the temple. The trail from the temple is a mud road with small stones.
Just after 5 minutes to your trek, the trail opens up to a beautiful view. Turn 75 degrees from your right to see the Ettina Bhuja peak. Ettina bhuja trek-first viewpoint-Indiahikes-Aniruddha Kalghatgi Ettina Bhuja from the first viewpoint. Picture by Aniruddha Kalghatgi
Once you cross the first viewpoint, the trail up to the forest section has a good ascent. You have to trek for another 15 more minutes to get to the starting point of the forest. The trail can become slushy if it rains. So watch out if you are trekking just after the monsoon season.
Ettina bhuja trek-Trail-Indiahikes-Nayana The trail up to the forest section. Picture by Nayana Jambhe Section 2: Forest section to the Second viewpoint Trek Distance: 600 m Trek Duration: 15 to 20 minutes GPS coordinates of the Forest section: 12°58’52.68″N, 75°34’18.27″E GPS coordinates of the second viewpoint: 12°58’41.54″N, 75°34’4.94″E Once you enter the forest, the trail becomes steep. It is not a very dense forest. However, you will find a lot of leeches during monsoon at every step. You also hear the wonderful sounds of birds chirping. Tip: Apply Dettol or Savlon before the start of the trek to avoid leeches. Just let it be and remove once you reach the grassland or summit if you find any. After 15 minutes of climb in the forest, you will see two trails. Stay on the trail to your right. Both the trails look like they intersect at one point. However, the left trail takes you to another forest section which leads you in a false direction. Ettina bhuja trek-forest wlak-Indiahikes-Naveen Trek inside the forest. Picture by Naveen As soon as you exit the forest section, you can see the grassland in front of you. After a couple of minutes of a climb, you reach the second viewpoint. The view just opens up and leaves you stunned! You see the lush green Charmadi range to please your eyes. Take a few minutes here to rest. Have a small water break and enjoy the 360 degrees view of green hills and valleys as far as the eyes can see. Ettina bhuja-Second viewpoint-Indiahikes-Ranjith Enjoy the view from the second viewpoint as soon as you exit from the forest. Picture by Ranjith Naik Section 3: Second viewpoint to the peak of Ettina Bhuja Trek Distance: 700 m Trek Duration: 30 minutes GPS coordinates for the second viewpoint: 12°58’41.54″N 75°34’4.94″E GPS coordinates for the final climb: 12°58’48.83″N 75°33’55.52″E From the second viewpoint, you can clearly see the peak of Ettina Bhuja. The trail is steep till you reach the peak. It can become slippery if it rains. So be careful when taking your step here. Tip: Wear proper trekking shoes. You can carry a trekking pole if you have as well. These two things will really help a lot in trekking. Ettina bhuja trek-On the way to the peak-Indiahikes-Naveen The trail from the second viewpoint to the peak. Picture by Naveen There is a proper trail until you reach the last leg of your trek. Once you reach the hump/shoulder, the tricky section starts. There is a rock phase to climb which is of 75 to 80 degrees inclination. This rock is a bit unsteady. You have to keep one leg at a time. If you are trekking in a group, one team member can climb first and help others. Ettina Bhuja-Tricky section-Indiahikes-Nayana The tricky section where rocks are unsteady. Picture by Nayana Jambhe Once you are at the top of the peak, you will want to just dive into nature. Enjoy the panoramic view of the lush green Charmadi range and the gorgeous Shishila valley. You are surrounded by vibrant shades of green mountains. Look out for Jenukallu Gudda, Ombattu Betta and Deepadakallu behind you towards the south. To the north-west direction is Amedikallu which is another prominent peak in this region. Ettina bhuja trek-View from the peak-Indiahikes-Ranjith Views of the Shishila valley and Charmadi Ghat range from the peak. Picture by Ranjith Naik Spend half an hour at the summit and take the views the trek has to offer. The descent is the same route as you came up. If the trail is not slippery you can reach down to the temple in 40 minutes. Best Time to do Ettina Bhuja trek Best time to do Ettina Bhuja trek is the post-monsoon season. Ettina Bhuja from Bhairaveshwara temple is accessible anytime after the monsoon (From September to February). If you are trekking from Shishila village, you can do only after October as the current of Kapila river will be high. During the monsoon season, the trail becomes slippery. As a result, the final section of the trail becomes very difficult to climb. In summer, it becomes too hot and you will not get to see the real beauty of the Charmadi range.