Hidden Gems of Goa - Tropical Spice Plantation Keri.
After our customary temple visit in Goa, we had a free day before returning back to Mumbai. We were searching for some places nearby which we had not visited earlier and was a little different in experience. While searching we came across this beautiful Tropical spice plantation in Keri and we decided to visit the place. There is also another spice plantation named Sahakari nearby but our driver advice us to not visit it. Keri is a small village 30 kms from Panaji. Even on a hot sunny day the place was full of shade and had a calming effect.
As we entered the the premises, we paid the entry fees at the ticket counter which was Rs. 400 per person and the plantation is open from 9 am till 4 p.m. As we paid the entry fees, a long bridge awaited us that lead us to the plantation. The bridge looked like a way to heaven with coconut trees swaying and welcoming us on the other side of the bridge. We clicked some pictures on the bridge as we caught a glimpse of beautiful dragonflies and our son was excited to watch them.
As we reached the other side Saree clad ladies welcomed us with flowers and told us to take a seat in the waiting area. We were then served lemongrass tea which was mildly flavored with lemongrass and spices and tasted absolutely amazing.
After the refreshing tea we were taken on a plantation tour by the guide which takes around 30 minutes and is spread over 80 acres of land but we are shown only 1 acre on the tour. The guide showed us various types of spices and explained the health benefits which included black peeper, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, betul, peri peri chilli etc. The guide also showed and explained the procedure of making feni, the alcohol made in Goa out of cashew fruit called "Bondu". At the end of the tour the guide told us to turn around and poured cold water from our neck which goes down the spine which was relaxing and refreshing on a hot sunny day.
We were then served hot simple meal which is included in the entry fees. The food is mainly veg with two non veg dishes and the same is served in a buffet so you can choose items as per your taste. Though the lunch was not extraordinary but it was simple and filling. After lunch we shopped for some spices from the shop in the plantation and left the place happy and contended.
We loved the experience of this plantation tour and it is something different from the usual and a must try if you visit Goa.