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.

Traditional Fenny making unit

Traditional Fenny making unit

Cardomom

Cardomom

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.

Chilly plant

Chilly plant

Coffee in Goa

Coffee in Goa

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!

Lemon grass

Lemon grass

Turmeric

Turmeric

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.

Fungal growth, bamboo stem and roots of palm tree

Fungal growth, bamboo stem and roots of palm tree

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!!!

Spice box on sale

Spice box on sale

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.

map goaPhoto Friday

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29 Responses

  1. endah says:

    Interesting!

  2. Beautiful post. Nice pics.

  3. Niranjan says:

    Lovely captures. Looks lush green and beautiful in the rains.

  4. Nice piece of information. I visited spice garden in Kerala two years back. It is always wonderful to visit such plantations.

  5. Yogi Saraswat says:

    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. can everyone go there or some permits are required ? Nobody think beyond Beeches in Goa . I want to visit these plants and farms of spices . Pl.write detail in next post , how to reach there , where these plants are . Thnx Indrani ji for a very different post ! I would love to be there as soon as possible.

    • Indrani Ghose says:

      Thank you for the very observant comment. I have added info of reaching the place in the post. Hope this will be helpful. Thank you Yogi ji!

  6. Other unseen part of Goa.

  7. A diff perspective of Goa synonymous with beaches! Loved the feni brew…heard that there are two types – cashew feni andtoddy feni!

  8. Goa is much more than its beaches. If one spends time to explore then Goa won’t disappoint. How big was this plantation?

    • Indrani Ghose says:

      The part of their plantation that they showed took around 20 minutes to tour. So not a huge area there, but they do have larger area of plantation I was told which is not open to tourists.

  9. Sunaina says:

    Such beautiful pics……!

  10. Ami says:

    Awesome …This was such a refreshing tour and thankfully the Rain Gods took some rest for us to tour it. 🙂 Lovely pics

  11. I miss Lemongrass as they dont have it here. I always make some tea out of it when I feel under the weather.

    Lovely photos. Everything looks so fresh and green! #photofriday

  12. Lovely pictures! I had visited a spice plantation on a visit to Goa several years back and it was beautiful! I remember how much fun it was to see where we get our spices from…

  13. Rutavi says:

    Sucha lovely post for the tour. I have always loved spice tour. When I lived in Kerala I always when it locals. Loved the bamboo stems.

    Btw check this Munnar post!

  14. Seems like an interesting place and beautiful pics

  15. I would love to visit the beaches of Goa but also this fabulous Spice Plantation. It would be very interesting.

  16. Prasad Np says:

    A visit to spice farm is such a wonderful experience, many people are not aware of this side of Goa…

  17. Very interesting post ,especially for a plant lover like me ,I had seen something similar in munnar

  18. I have never explored the other side of Goa … a visit to spice farm is such an interesting experience

  19. Very interesting; thanks for sharing:)

  20. As a foodie this is just my type of place to visit. I find learning about how spices and herbs are cultivated and grow and in particular how to use them just fascinating, now if only I could cook as well with them as they do I would be happy.

  21. Brianna says:

    This is an awesome alernative of something to do in Goa. It must have smelled absolutely wonderful there! I would definitely make a visit to the tropical spice plantation!

  22. Really interesting, I too only thought Goa had beautiful beaches! But those plantations look like a great place to visit! Love how you’ve put a map in there too! I will be using this post when I visit Goa! Thanks for sharing, very informative!

  23. Carmy says:

    I think I recognized 0 of the plants! I never thought of plantations with Goa. I love all the spices available! I’d love to visit!

  24. Emily says:

    I am off to goa in a few days and this has made me so excited! I didn’t know much about goa, I just thought it had amazing beaches. I’ll be sure to check out the other things you mentioned!

  25. Brian says:

    Looks like a fun road trip! I never heard of Goa before I started blogging. Hopefully I’ll be going to India next year!

  26. wow! This is seriously amazing! We would love an experience like this! I had no idea you could travel to place like that in Goa. Quite interesting!

  27. Michelle says:

    Oh yes! I knew there was more to Goa than retreats or the beach. I love love ❤️ tropical gardens. Bookmarking this for when I head back to India again.

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