Located in the Chikmagaluru district, one of the most scenic hillocks of Karnataka, Ettina Bujha also known as Shishila Bhuja, literally means the shoulder of an ox. It has been thrown open to trekking by the Forest Department and a tryst here with trekking is a must because of the rather fuss-free single trekking path till the peak.
Since Ettina Bhuja is one of the most important biodiversity spots of Chikamagaluru, it’s a nature enthusiast’s paradise. Perched at 1,300m above sea level, the trek to the peak from Byrapura Village, home to the famous Byrapura Temple, is a short one. However, climbing up from Shishila Village, which is a regulated trekking route, takes about four hours to reach the peak.
The Forest Department is wary of people polluting the pristine surrounds; which is why they have ensured that only a limited number of people will be allowed for trekking and night stay will be completely banned. One can make bookings for the trek online, and choose from complete packages with food and stay at a farmhouse or some famous trekkers’ cottage to halt at night.
While Ettina Bhuja is a stunning place in itself, you can couple your visit with Dharmasthala, a part of the Charmadi Ghats. Lush green vegetation, meandering streams as well as the opportunity to camp under the twinkling stars, is what makes it so appealing.
Keep an eye out for Kapila river, the main tributary of river Netravati, and some of the most beautiful and unique wildlife such as spotted deer, brown palm civet, gaur and giant flying squirrel.
The sunrise at Ettina Bhuja might not be as dramatic because the peak is not very tall. However, the sunset here is always worth the while; the cocktail-coloured sky looking straight out of a painting.
The closest airport to Ettina Bhuja is the Mangalore Airport about 146 kilometres away and the one at Bangalore lies 280 kilometres away.