Things to See in Goa: Goa Spice Plantations
There are loads of tours in Goa that any given traveller can partake in, but to enjoy a true Goan experience, visit the Sahakari Spice Plantation in Ponda.
If you’re travelling to Goa and are searching for a genuine insight into Goan culture, then dedicating a day to visiting the Sahakari Spice Plantation is the perfect way in experiencing and embracing the provincial passion of spice production in India.
Sahakari Spice Plantation Tours
With a stunning backdrop, first impressions of the spice plantation are nothing short of breathtaking. Cross the somewhat rickety bridge that bisects the picturesque river and delve further into the jungle in which the spice plantation is produced on. Once you’ve taken in all the sights and sounds of the plantation surrounds, let the remaining three senses be stimulated while you’re guided through a tour of the plantation itself.
Your English-speaking guide will educate and entertain you about everything you need to know about the daily occurrences in which the Sahakari Spice Plantation provides. During the tour, you’ll be treated to the local liquor, feni, which is produced from the juice of cashew apples. Feni contains about 40-45% alcohol which you’ll definitely know about when sampling it!
Also, for the travellers that enjoy a cigarette, you’ll be pleased to know that pure tobacco is grown at the plantation, and for just 20 Indian rupees, you’ll be able to purchase ten authentic Goan cigarettes wrapped in dried palm leaves. At the conclusion of the tour, you’ll be treated to an Indian all-you-can-eat lunch where you’ll be able to sit back, relax and continue to take in the soothing ambience that the plantation bestows upon you.
Elephant Rides at the Sahakari Spice Plantation
Travellers can also take pleasure in the experience of an Elephant ride throughout the outskirts of the spice plantation. There are three elephants (a male, a female and a baby) that are trained to amuse you in uniquely entertaining ways. While the male predominantly engages in most of the elephant rides, the baby elephant provides photography enthusiasts with some gorgeous photo opportunities as it receives its education in elephant riding.
The female elephant can also be ridden, but she instead offers travellers the chance to get to bathe her. Your guide will take you and the elephant down to the shallow river where you will be supplied with scrubbing brushes in which you will literally give the elephant a good old-fashioned clean. The elephant itself will lie down and roll around as you bathe her back, legs and even behind her ears allowing your guide or taxi driver to take some truly unforgettable pictures of the experience.
The best part comes next, however! Once you’ve finished giving the elephant a bath, she will sit up requesting you (and a friend if you wish) to sit on her back. Once you’re safely secured on top of the elephant, the guide will ask you to face the other way. Why, you ask?!
Well, unexpectedly and without notice, the elephant will return the favour by showering you, as she flamboyantly saturates you with her trunk. Unexpected, indeed! What you can expect, however, is that you will be left utterly drenched. This is a fantastic opportunity to make a bond or connection with the elephant, and one that will unquestionably live long in the memory of your trip to Goa.
Sahakari Spice Plantation Prices
Entrance into the Sahakari Spice Plantation will cost you 400 Indian rupees (exclusive of transport to and from the spice plantation). Included in the entry price is an hour-long tour of the spice plantation, opportunities to purchase produce from the plantation itself and a free lunch where many of the spices have been used in preparing the Indian banquet.
If you’re interested in riding the elephant, you can do so for 600 Indian rupees (circa 2011). Also, for another 600, you can take part in the bathing session with the female elephant. For more information regarding tours to the Sahakari Spice Farm, contact your travel agent, speak to your hotel concierge or visit the Sahakari Spice Plantation website at: http://www.sahakarifarms.com/.