Tropical Spice Plantation, Goa, a Photo Essay
Goa is something beyond beaches I realized. If you have not seen the lush green spice plantations there then you have missed experiencing the soul of Goa! It is worth taking time out and experience the spice trails they have in several plantations scattered in the Sanguem Hills of Goa.
Goa, from time immemorial was sought after by European rulers. It was an important trade centre mainly for its spice produce. Even today the spices fetch good returns for the farmers. Goans use spices liberally in their dishes and are in huge demand in the market. Farmers grow a variety of them in between the areca nut trees. Spice plants grow best under the shades of big trees. When we drool so much over the Goan dishes then definitely it is worth learning more about them. The conducted tour around the garden of Tropical Spice Plantation was fun and educative.
Tropical Spice Plantation is located in the Keri village, 6kms off Ponda town. It was monsoons when I visited and you can well imagine the soothing dark greenery all around. The scenic drive to the place refreshed my senses, the whole area seemed so untouched by pollution and I filled in my lung spaces – the crisp pure air!
We had a scrumptious lunch here; you can read in the post: 5 Must Visit Goa Restaurants for Goan Food.
The Tour of Spice Plantation
A tour guide was assigned for our group who patiently took us around explaining each of the 14 kinds of spices they had in their garden. She seemed so knowledgeable and well versed in the properties and health value of each of them. It was almost like a mini spice trail there. Throughout the walk we could hear the incessant chirping of birds. The place plays the role of bird sanctuary too I thought. There were butterflies as big as humming birds, pity I couldn’t capture one well.
They do have a bigger area of plantation I was told and they do earn from the harvest of their plantation. Surprisingly she did not pester us to buy their products, which is such a contrast from what we get to experience in guided tours from annoying guides. At the start we got to see the traditional fenny making unit. You need license from government to make fenny, not every one can start that business. We got to see Black pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom both black and green variety, Nutmeg, a kind of fruit whose every part is used, Vanilla creepers, Cloves, Chilies, at Tropical Spice Plantation. They even have Coffee plants which rarely grow in Goa.
How many of these plants could you recognize from the pictures? I was clueless about the names of so many of them except may be of the chilies and coffee!!!
How to reach Tropical Spice Plantation
Distance from Panaji 32.2km, It can take approx one hour by car. Distance from Dabolim airport Goa is 37.5kms which can be covered in 1 hour approx.