Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ettina Bhuja

Perhaps! It is too risky for me to call it the last trek of the year having 3 full days left :) But more or less, I would say, its the last trek of the year. Now that Suz is back for sometime on his official trip to India, we had no other better job than visiting our beloved Western Ghats. And that's how we ended up going to Ettina Bhuja for the Christmas weekend. More than the trek, we were waiting to have our favorite food at Gopu Gokhle's place. As expected (how can they forget those faces who ate all the food?), they welcomed us saying we are the 'familiar' faces. Since we chose not to go on a weekend, we planned to trek up to the hill on Friday and come back on Saturday. 

Ettina Bhuja (in Kannada) is a hill which is shaped like the back of an ox (ettu=ox , bhuja=shoulder). This is in Charmadi Ghats, accessible from a town called Shishila near the famous pilgrim place - Dharmasthala. It is a moderate trek starts at an altitude of 220m from a small village called HoleGundi and reaches the peak at 1180m.
Ettina Bhuja seen from the Holegundi village
We were happy to choose the beautiful day and what we experienced for two days was heavenly! As always, first thing that one encounters in the forest is the flora and fauna. I got to see some surprisingly attractive flora and fauna. Even though I did not know how good the floral population in this particular season, I was sure of sighting at least a few. 

Dark Evening Brown

It looked like a jewel
And some ferns!

After a few steps of walk, we could see the serene lake flowing beautifully cutting through the valleys. One needs to cross this lake to climb up the hill. Crossing the lake gave us a thrilling experience although we wanted not-to-leave-the-lake. Once we crossed the lake, we were threatened by the tough looks of the peak itself. 

Ettina Bhuja peak seen from the base
We reached the camp site very early and we had nothing to do but to laze out the afternoon. After our delicious lunch (packed), we patiently waited for the sunset. by 5.30pm  we started climbing the peak and reached a place from where sunset looked heavenly. It was more like a painting with the backdrop of Amedikallu and the Ettina Bhuja peak!

Sunset at Ettina Bhuja 

Ettina Bhuja peak during sunset
Sunset Panorama
I was absolutely happy during the sunset and could get some real good shots. I loved photographing the evening and expected the same for the sunrise as well. As it turned out, Sunrise was equally beautiful and made our trip worthy beyond words. We reached the top at 6 am and waited for the shine on our faces.

Sunrise seen from Ettina Bhuja
Shadow of Ettina Bhuja on Amedikallu range

During Sunrise
Just after the sunrise, it was the photographers delight. The sky turned out completely blue leaving our shutterbugs not to stop. 
Ettina Bhuja in clear blue color

Amedikallu, Moon and Ettina Bhuja

Having ecstatically satisfied with our last trek of the year, with loads of fun, we returned back on Saturday. While returning, we were welcomed to the new year by little new lives in those lively thick forests of Charmadi. 

Happy New Year 2011
Srik, Suz, Srivathsa, Sandy


Narasim said...

Great photographs, as usual.

I found your signature photograph of the ox shoulder the most riveting.

The brief essay gave a good context.

Anonymous said...

The Photographs and the writings of yours is just amazing :)

Missed it... soon will plan for a trek !!

sajana said...

Awesome photos...asusual..i especially loved the fungi photo...You are too good at photographs ..keep it up and yes keep writing so that i dont loose track of reading good blogs ;)


Vaishnavi said...

As usual, lovely photos!

Raghu said...

Absolutely brilliant photos! Nice and brief writeup to spice up the joy.

Manjunath Byadigere said...

Srik. Wonderful photography. I loved the fungi, fern and the ‘Etthina Bhuja peak during sunset’ photographs. The fiery looking floating clouds contrast very well with the dark bhuja in every shade of the bluish background. Of course every photo is beautifully composed. Keep going.
Missing photography and treks :(

Sudhi said...

Great place and great photography!

--Sunrise-- said...

What wonderful photos! Never knew such a beautiful place existed in India - must go myself one day :)