Kerala has a rich tradition of being a major spice exporter. The state of Kerala is located in the southwestern part of India, has been renowned for its spice trade for centuries. Traditionally this region was known as "Malabar". The region's climate and geography make it ideal for the cultivation of various spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, among others.
As a Kerala tour operator - at Green Earth Trails, we have always been keen about showing our guests about the unique elements of Kerala. Kerala's history is closely tied to the spice trade, which attracted traders and explorers from around the world, including the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, and later, European colonial powers like the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. These traders were drawn to Kerala's spices, which were highly valued for their flavor, medicinal properties, and preservative qualities.
Coming back to the main point, though Kerala has a lot of plantations of Cardamom, Pepper, Tea, Cinnamon and Nutmeg, it is not always possible to walk through the vast expanse of these plantation, specially during short visits of a less than a week. Most Kerala tour programs pass through these large estates, however time generally becomes a constraining factor. That is how the concept of a spice garden tour comes into place, where you have all of these spices grown in one or two numbers, all at one place, probably less than an acre.
There are multiple spice garden tour concepts available at Munnar, Thekkady, and Wayanad, as some of the spices like Cardamom would need a lesser temperature. That is how the hills become the most ideal place to grow certain spices. It is not just about the spice plants or trees, there is much more to it, a well knowledgeable person who knows about these spices in depth will be able to explain about the most fascinating facts about these spices and its origin. These Kerala package tours provide an opportunity to explore and learn about various spices, herbs, and plants that are grown in the region. Guests get to know about the cultivation, harvesting, and processing of spices, and get a chance to interact with knowledgeable guides who explain the uses, medicinal properties, and cultural significance of different spices.
One can expect to see around 35 - 40 range of spices, herbs and condiments. You would be surprised to how certain spices are grown and how it finally becomes a final end product for consumption. Pepper is a vine, Nutmeg is seet of a fruit grown on a tree, cardamom sprouts from the roots, turmeric and ginger are roots, and a lot more. This is how it becomes an experiential travel program, and we have always been evangelists of experiential travel. We have personally seen the kind of wow! moments where guests are so excited to know all these information.
Kerala's spice trade played a significant role in shaping its cultural and economic history. Even today, Kerala remains a major producer and exporter of spices, contributing to the global spice market. Spices are an integral part of Kerala's cuisine and culture, and they continue to be important to the state's economy.