Ettina Bhuja

For all the details on this trek please refer to my travel blog post - Ettina Bhuja

I had been wanting to trek Ettina Bhuja (Ox's hump) for a long time. For some reason, that plan kept getting postponed. During the last week of January, I researched about the place and realised that it was actually an easy trek. There are two routes that lead to the peak. One begins from Shishila village in Dakshina Kannada and is longer (10KM). The easier route is from Mudigere side (3-4KM) and the peak can be scaled within an hour or 1.5 hours. Once the location was fixed, I researched on other places of interest around it and made a rough plan for a weekend trip. 

My friends Charan, Subash and Naresh were game for this plan. Aditya, a new member in Charan’s team joined us as well. So, it was four of us driving from Bangalore and Naresh joining us in Mudigere, directly from Mangalore. 

On Friday, the 4th of February, we left Bangalore at around 4PM. Since we were all meeting after a long time, there was a lot of catching-up to do. 

With one stop for tea and another for dinner at A2B, we reached Mudigere at around 10:30 PM. Mudigere is a small town in Chikkamagaluru district. I had planned to stay there. We met Naresh at the Bus station and walked to the nearby lodges to book the rooms for that night. We zeroed in on MC Grand which has neat rooms. A Nepali caretaker who speaks fluent Kannada guided us to our rooms. 

The long drive had fatigued me, after speaking for a while, we dozed off. 

I woke up at 5AM next morning and got ready. At around 6AM, we left the lodge and stepped out to have our breakfast in hotel Sri Ganesh Prasad that makes excellent Mangalore buns. After that, we drove directly to Nanya Byraveshwara temple near Byrapura village. It is around 25km from Mudigere. 

The road to the base fo the hill passes through coffee plantations. It was a scenic drive. We stopped to capture the sunrise. 

As we approached the temple, the paved roads gave way to mud road. The work to complete the road until the temple is in progress and should be up and running soon. We parked our vehicle about 500 mts from the temple and walked. 

On the left side of the temple, there is a signboard at the entry point of the trail. This jeep route passes through a forest. On the way, we stopped at a small shed were two forest guards are stationed. We had to pay a fee of Rs 50 per person to trek up Ettina Ahuja. The forest guards were quite friendly and gave us the necessary information regarding the trail. 

The climb was very easy. We reached the summit within an hour. The last stretch of the climb though is interesting and steep. 

The view from the summit is spectacular. There were only two other groups at the summit, but they left soon after we came. So, for a long time, we had the peak for ourselves and we decided to stay up there for almost an hour and half. 

I managed to make a quick sketch of the Amedikallu in front of me. 

The descent was obviously easy. We took around 30 minutes to descend. 

On the way back, we spoke to the Forest guard and learnt about the herd of elephants that often visit the area during dawn and dusk. There was another interesting story of a group of trekkers who had illegally camped there and had been in trouble when a group of policemen found them. They had to pay a huge fine to the forest department. 

The temple is generally open only in the morning, at around 8AM. We explored the exteriors of the temple before driving back to Mudigere. We had lunch at a Udupi restaurant. Post lunch, we freshened up and took a siesta until 4PM. For sunset, we had some other plan. 

Here is my film on this trek -