Ettina Bhuja Trek (Chikmagalur) – Full Traveller’s Guide

Brief About Ettina Bhuja Trek

Ettina Bhuja trek is ideal for all types of travelers, whether you are a seasoned trekker or just starting out. As a traveler, I had the opportunity to embark on this exciting journey. This hill, located in the Dakshin Kannada region of Karnataka, stands tall at 1,300 meters above sea level and is part of the Charmadi Ghats. The journey to Ettina Bhuja is a delight for any adventurer and offers a blend of natural beauty and adventure. The trek is surrounded by tall trees, breathtaking views and stunning natural surroundings, which make the journey up the hill tiring, but rewarding.

Ettina Bhuja Peak covered by clouds
Ettina Bhuja Peak covered by clouds

If you have a love for nature and enjoy pushing yourself a little, this modestly challenging and fun journey is a must-visit. The trek offers plenty of greenery along its stretches, making it a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. For those who have never trekked before, Ettina Bhuja is the perfect place to start. This hill is easily accessible and the route is well-mapped, making it one of the best trekking options for beginners. So, pack your bags and join me on a journey to Ettina Bhuja, where you can immerse yourself in nature, breathe in the fresh air, and take in the stunning surroundings.

Key details of the Ettina Bhuja Trek:

  • Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 1 Day
  • Trek Distance: 4.2 km
  • Trek Altitude Range: 1300 meters
  • Nearest Railway Station: Mangalore Station (70 km)

Best Places to Visit & Explore at Ettina Bhuja

One of the highlights of my journey was admiring the unique and beautiful fauna in the area. One needs to keep there eye out for rare creatures such as the giant flying squirrel, giant spotted deer, brown palm viper, gaur, and other unusual species.

Another unforgettable experience was watching the sunset at the peak. Although the height of the hill may not be as dramatic as other taller mountains in the region, the sunset was still breathtaking. I had the option to either camp at the peak or simply stop to enjoy the stunning view. I also took some time off to visit Dharmasthala, a little panchayat village famed for its temples. With just two days and one night, I was able to cover this beautiful place.

If you’re looking for other trekking options nearby, Devaramane Betta, a small hill located 22 KM from Mudigere, is popular for its stunning sunsets. At the base of the hill is an ancient Chola temple, Sri Kalabhairaveshwara Swaami Gudi, which is also worth visiting.

What is the best time to visit Ettina Bhuja?

The best time to visit is post-monsoon season, which is from September to February. During this time, the lush surroundings of the Charmadi range are refreshing and provide the perfect backdrop for a trek. However, be mindful of leeches during this season and carry salt to ward them off.

If you can’t make it during the post-monsoon season, winter (December to March) is the next best option. Although the grasses would have dried up, the Shola forests display an interesting mix of colors. It’s best to avoid visiting during peak summer (April-May) due to the extreme heat, and trekking during the rains (June-August) can be dangerous because of the slippery trail.

How to reach the Starting Point of Trek?

Reaching Ettina Bhuja, a trek location located close to Dharmasthala, is easy and convenient. You can either drive to Byrapura village, Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district on your own or take public transport.

The quickest and most scenic route from Bangalore to Byrapura is via Hassan. You can take the highway from Bangalore to Hassan and then take the Mudigere road via Belur. Once you reach Ambedkar circle, Belur, turn left to stay on NH73 to reach Byrapura. Alternatively, you can take the bus to Mudigere or Dharmasthala from Bangalore and reach the starting point of the trek.

If you’re coming from a different city, you can fly to Mangalore Airport (146 kms) or Bangalore Kempegowda International Airport (280 kms), and then take a train to Mangalore Station (70 kms) or book a bus to Shishila village. From there, you can pre-book a cab ride to reach Ettina Bhuja.

Difficulty Level of Ettina Bhuja Trek

Ettina Bhuja trek is an easy trail, but the final section of the climb can be a bit challenging during the monsoon season. The rocky part with a 75-80 degree inclination is narrow and allows for only one person at a time. It’s important to bring a guide and wear sturdy shoes, as some parts can be slippery. Overall, Ettina Bhuja trek requires some stamina to reach the peak, but is a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

View from peak of Ettina Bhuja
View from peak of Ettina Bhuja

Availability of Accommodations & Food near the Trek


As of 2022, there are no homestays nearby Ettina Bhuja, but a new homestay is under construction and is expected to open in 2023. It is located after the forest check post office. Visitors usually stay overnight in Chikmagalur or Mudigere, both of which have numerous hotels and lodges available.

Food & Drinks:

There are no restaurants in the village of Byrapura, but there is a small shop where you can buy snacks or quick bites like Maggi or Bread Omelet. It is recommended to bring at least 1 liter of water per person in a reusable water bottle as there are no natural water sources available en route during the hike.

Physical & Mental Preparation Required for Trek

There is no longer an entry fee or local guides, so you’ll have the freedom to explore on your own. However, it’s recommended to start your trek early, at 6:00 AM, and finish before 3:00 PM.

When it comes to what to bring, make sure to have a waterproof backpack, comfortable trekking shoes with a good grip, and an ID proof. Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of the environment and not litter or cause noise pollution. If you have prior trekking experience, it’ll be beneficial, but it’s not required. The valley is at its prettiest after the monsoon season, with the entire valley covered by fog and the drive to Mekanagadde misty. So, get ready for a breathtaking experience!

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