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Spice trail of India: Kerala

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An emerald in India’s deep south and God’s own country, Kerala has been blessed with myriad features and is shaped with a spectacular landscape with around 600km of glorious Arabian Sea coast, a leisurely network of backwaters, green hills and tea plantations. The state has always been known for its spices and became an important spice trading centre of the world around 3100 BC. It was the epicentre where most of the ships came to trade-in spices which were out of the reach of the arm twisting Arabs who controlled much of the then-explored waterways.

Spice tour1_Kerala
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During that period, it was the spice trade between Kerala and many countries which became one of the key drivers of the world economy. It is because of this reason that Kerala has many spice plantation farms. These aromatic farms have now become an essential part of many travel itineraries and gave way to a new travel trend, the spice plantation tours.

The spice plantation farms of Kerala are alluring places to walk around and wander since different varieties of spices are cultivated in different parts of the plantations with the major ones in Wayanad, Munnar and Thekkady where one can get an insight of cardamom, nutmeg, pepper, cloves, vanilla and allspice growing.

While exploring the Kerala spice plantation farms, one can also go for nature walks, bird watching treks, taste the various spices and breathe in the fragrant air. Some spice plantations in Kerala also offer accommodation in the lodges and mansions on the plantation. In Kerela, waking up to the glorifying fragrances of coffee, cardamom and black pepper soothes your senses.

The clusters of home-grown black pepper plant can be spotted by the roadsides. While driving down the lane, one may notice the stretches of cardamom plantations for several kilometres. While going ahead with the spice trip, one can also see cinnamon and clove vegetation dotting the landscape. You can get on the flavours of all these spices along with the bent and leaves of curry and ginger over a single stretch of land.

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The spice market in Cochin is a perfect place to explore different varieties of spices and serves as an important centre for spice trading. While there, you can experience an exotic odour of the finest ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric and black pepper, which is also known as the black gold of India.

In our next segment, we will talk about the spice plantation farms of Goa.


Text by Supriya Aggarwal
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