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Spice up your senses at Spice Plantation, Goa

Diverse culture, mesmerizing beaches, majestic heritage structures and adorable nature sums up Goa to me. When I talk about Goan culture, it isn't fixated to European or Western culture. The cultural fest of indigenous tribal people is a retreat to your vision, which is mesmerizing than the usual western-style Carnival. Maybe we can see about that in the coming articles, but this piece is more into nature. What else you can imagine from an ardent nature enthusiast?

Goa falls along the majestic Western Ghats range. As the rising green mountains please your eyes, the scent of spices rejuvenates your senses. The chirping birds, picturesque landscape, rich ecosystem and the never ending list makes the Goan natural system so unique and pleasurable.
  
Spice garden/farm/plantation is one such spot at Goa with rich biodiversity and pristine ecosystem. There are many such farms at Goa – Tropical spice plantation, Ponda; Sahakari spice farm, Ponda; Spice garden, Arpora, etc.


Entrance of the Tropical spice plantation
I have been to Tropical Spice Plantation, Ponda earlier this year and was amazed by its natural radiance. Located in the remote village Keri (Ponda), this spice plantation is a blend of tradition and nature.

Spice it up!
As soon as you enter the plantation, you will be greeted with a traditional arati, kumkum, flowers and will be treated with herbal tea. I had jasmine tea but they keep changing the flavours depending on the season and harvest. It was a refreshing drink and I even went for an extra cup.

Pepper plantations
It is followed by a guided tour of the beautiful spice garden where you get to see, smell and experience the spices. It will be more like a learning experience than a recreational activity as you will be oriented about all the spices in the 30-45 minutes session.

Beetle plants creeping along the palm trees
The guides were well-informed about the spices and the way they handle the session was neat and interactive. They kept it simple throughout, without using any technical jargons or scientific names, which must be appreciated. They even have guides in French, Spanish and Russian.

Alright, now comes the fascinating part - The Spices!

The spices did spice up the tour and it was exciting to touch, see and learn about the spices they grow. The spiciest chilli, the pearl-like pepper corns and the fragrance of vanilla awaken your sensory. With vanilla being an expensive spice did catch my attention and here's some fascinating information about the spice. 
Vanilla is difficult to grow as pollination is a challenging part. It’s done artificially and the bean must be plucked in the span of 24 hours. It should be dried for 5 days before doing the extraction process. It must be noted here that 100g of vanilla seeds gives only 1 litre of extract. I guess, now you will understand why Vanilla is considered as the second most expensive spice in the world.

Cashew Feni distillery
Roots of palm trees
Looks like an elephant foot; these are roots of the palm tree. The age of the tree is calculated by the rings formed at the root; 4 rings mean the tree is 1 year old. More the roots sprout above the ground, more is the age of the tree.

Hottest chilli variety
Black Pepper
Birding time
Besides the spices, you can also watch birds in the garden. Morning and evening hours are more ideal for bird watching as you could see plenty of species foraging on the water body. 

At the end of the tour, you will be treated with the medicated water that will be poured on your spine. And it is followed by a Goan lunch in an open-air restaurant located right next to the beautiful stream. Veg and non-veg options are served for your convenience. The menu will be simple yet drool-worthy. Enjoy your meal while watching the sparkling water with some beautiful birds.

Overall, it was a stimulating experience I have had at Goa. 

How to reach here?
  • It is around 29 km from Panjim, Goa. 
  • You can reach the place by hiring a cab from Panjim.
  • You could also find many local tour operators who offer to visit spice plantation along with other in and around places.
  • Visit Goa Tourism for further information.
Share your experience below if you have already been to the spice plantation. If you have not been here, include it in your itinerary asap for your next trip because Goa is not just about beaches
Spice up your senses at Spice Plantation, Goa Spice up your senses at Spice Plantation, Goa Reviewed by T R Gowthama on 13:28 Rating: 5

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