Abraham’s Spice Garden was a spot-on recommendation not only by my guide book, but my hotel in Kumily/Thekkady. Although naively expecting more of a true plantation type setting, the smaller more intimate surroundings in this Kerala spice garden suited me and my travel partner well. As our driver dropped us at the front entrance, several guides sprung to life in hopes of our business. Within seconds of arriving we were thrown waist deep into the business of spices in India.
Abraham’s is nestled, right off the main road, into the hillside foliage. Visitors walk a narrow dirt path to the starting point by the main office building. First you must pay the Rs 200 entrance fee, steep but ultimately worth the price. Guides then walk along the paths criss-crossing past various trees, plants, shrubs and other growth pointing out flowers, seeds and fruits. Cooks or foodies will delight in seeing first hand not only the source, but picking, smells and taste of fresh spices.
Visitors are shown a wide range of common cooking spices from pepper to vanilla in this short period of time. During the 45 minutes spent here, I tasted the small curry leaf, fresh cardamom, and cinnamon. When my travel partner spit out her sample of cardamom, she was sternly scolded by our guide who boldly explained how expensive the spice was. “If you did not want it, then why did you take it?” he asked. She was not amused but I found great delight in it. As much as I wanted to snap pics of the colorful tour, the pace was too rapid to both follow along and stop for photos.
Abraham’s needs only an hour maximum. Our guide kept us on topic no matter how much we tried to sway him from his normal routine. Fresh spices as well as seeds are available for sale.
Total cost: Rs 200 Entrance fee, Rs 200 Tip (To make up for the cardamom scolding)
Cameras are allowed at no charge.