Spice tours

A Spices tour in God’s own country, Kerala, is apparently billed as a gastronomic paradise, but don’t let that mislead you. Kerala is not just a gift for the gastric juices, but also an excellent source of soul food.Despite Kerala’s global appeal as a tourist hotspot, it continues to surprise even an accomplished tourist. Few people know that Idukki, situated at the top of Western Ghats and surrounded by mountains, is Asia’s first and the world’s second great arch dam. Built across the Kuravan Kurathi mountain, the Idukki dam is 650 feet in length and 550 feet in height, and truly awesome. And when you are in Moolamattam, remember this is the world’s second underground Power Station.

And believe it or not, Idukki also has a human populace living in the region. Why also? Because the Idukki wildlife sanctuary spans an area of 7700 hectares!

In god’s own country, wild life sanctuaries, are a dime a dozen. Thekkady, India’s largest wild life sanctuary, is another dream destination, with an artificial lake around it to w(h)et your holiday appetite.

If you want to escape the daily grind, and rejuvenate your spirits, you can do no better than book your ticket to the Kerala Spices tour. A walk in the center of aromatic tea estates, amidst breathtaking greenery, and a salubrious climate, and a hot cuppa will leave you enthralled.

Iravikkulam National Park spread over 97sq.kms with unending rows of barren hills, meadows, rock rafts and wild animals, beckons the green votaries. If you have seen Iravikkulam, you have seen the best on the globe.

At Alleppey, a drive through green coastal belts and cashew plantations, you can go and “get lost” from the touristy places to a plethora of hidden cloves and secluded dives in the neighborhood. For those who wish to extend their super-secluded holiday, book your stay in a traditional Kerala boathouse in the backwaters. A world of amazing cultures and international level amenities await you here. Dip into the traditional Kerala cuisine (rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and very healthy), take a herbal oil massage, gaze into the serene clouds, smell the flowers, lake around a lazy afternoon, and feel ten years younger!

For the adventurous folk, Thommankuthu, famous for its numerous waterfalls, is the ideal getaway for trekking, apart from Meenuliyarmudi (at Vannapuram), Keezharkuthu (Uumpannoor) and Irukallumud (Velliyammattom) near Thommankuthu. Names you can’t spell, but they sure leave a spell on you!

Spice plantations of Kerala includes variety of aromatic spices such as pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, tea, coffee, curry leaf and many more.

Kerala’s spices are not only spicy, but also healthy. The tantalizing range of ginger, cinnamon, oregano, bay leaf, sage, etc not only add flavor to the food but are also one of the best antioxidants, and a rich source of calcium, vitamin B, vitamin C, iron, and carotene.

A walk through the fascinating farmhouses will leave you a “better” person; the air is suffused with fragrance of aromatic spices. Each section of the garden is dedicated to several varieties of spices. This is one place where you will take time to smell the flowers, without any prodding.

Beyond the famous Cardamom Hills in the high ranges of Kerala, lies a treasure trove of the world’s best spices, and a unique way of life. Tribal huts jostle for space with comfy restaurants, blending simplicity with luxury. Spartan and unassuming, these villages are not on the map, unless you wish them to be!

Cool, fertile and green, verdant Kerala drenched in perfumes of native Indian spices lures you into a sun soaked paradise of cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon plantations interspersed with neatly clipped tea bushes and other tropical trees.

Not all tea estates are same, as connoisseurs of Kerala will tell you. Munnar, the highest and the most beautiful tea growing region in the world, will show you how. The journey to Munnar itself gives a glimpse at what’s on the plate ahead: a picturesque drive through jungles, waterfalls and spice plantations. The sad part is, this journey is not for ever!

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