If you’re in Kerala, particularly Munnar or Thekkady you will no doubt see adverts for ‘spice walks’ or ‘ayurvedic spice garden’ tours. We’d seen quite a few in Munnar but didn’t go to one until Thekkady. We were having a designated relax day so wanted to do something interesting but not too strenuous.
Our host at Dean Dale Cottages directed us towards Green Park Spice Plantation in Kumily.
What is an Ayurvedic Spice Garden?
To start with lets explain what ‘Ayurvedic’ means. It’s a particular type of medicine developed in India which uses lots of different plants for their different properties. For example things like Cardamom, Cinnamon and loads more. An Ayurvedic spice garden grows all the plants that produce the spices used for Ayurvedic medicine. They’re often ran by local farmers that want to make a bit more on the side by offering tours for tourists.
How much does it cost?
A tour for just over 1 hour cost us only 100 rupees each. We were the only two people there so effectively it was a private tour! You can also tip at the end and buy things from their garden shop where they sell a mix of home grown and branded products. We decided to buy some more homemade aloe vera gel for our sunburn which was a bargain at only 100 rupees for a big jar.
What do you do there?
Our tour guide showed us round the whole garden. He gave us information about all the different plants they grow and explained what they can be used for. We also got to smell, and taste some of the spices.
This is the perfect relaxing afternoon activity for you if you’re interested in gardening or herbal remedies. Equally if you want something to do that teaches you a bit about Indian medicine and isn’t too strenuous it’s a cheap option and you can support a local business.
The spice garden we visited also had tree houses that you could stay in! You had to climb up some wobbly metal steps and walk along a pretty scary bridge to get to them but if you’re into that then they were a cool alternative place to stay among a lovely garden. Our guide told us that they recently had a couple stay in one that helped them with the farming.
Want to learn more?
If you want to get more out of this Ayurvedic experience you can also have an Ayurvedic massage. There are centres for this all over Kerala and you can get all types of massage. I had one myself in Thekkady and will be writing a blog post all about it. There are also centres that can train you in the art of Ayruvedic massage.
Read more about our trip to Kerala: