Hate Parties? An introvert's guide to Celebrate Graduation in Goa #Only3000

1st Dec 2019

A trip to Goa with friends has been set as a milestone in every graduate's life ever since the release of Dil Chahta Hai. But not everyone enjoys dancing all night long with sweaty strangers or spending your well-saved money on booze that does not even taste good. But luckily, there is so much more you can do in Goa beyond the Party beaches of the North. Enjoy beach hopping along the pristine beaches of the South like Palolem and Patnem. Or immerse yourself into the cultural experience in the heart of Goa that is Ponda.

Photo of Hate Parties? An introvert's guide to Celebrate Graduation in Goa #Only3000 1/3 by Aishwarya Narangikar
Budget Distribution
Photo of Hate Parties? An introvert's guide to Celebrate Graduation in Goa #Only3000 2/3 by Aishwarya Narangikar
Google Maps gives accurate information about bus timings in Goa. But make sure to save your trips offline as network connectivity is often an issue.

Day 1 : Take an overnight train from Mumbai to Madgaon.

Try to book a train which arrives at Madgaon before 7am, because a delay of a couple of hours is common. Our train was due to arrive at 5.40 am but in reality we reached only after 7am. See the time-table here.

Tip- If the train bookings are almost full, and yours is an all girls group try and search for seats in the ladies quota.(It worked for us!😉)

*Daily Budget -

Transportation- Mumbai to Madgaon train- Rs. 408 pp

                                Madgaon to Mumbai train- Rs. 400 pp

Day 2 : Go Beach Hopping

Once you reach Madgaon Station do not go to Margao Bus Terminal.(It is 5km in the opposite direction and will only waste your time and money). The cheapest and the most efficient option is to walk 1.5 kms to Navelim bus stop. All private as well as state transport buses stop here. If your hostel is located on Palolem Beach, take a bus going towards Canacona and get down at Gullem.

Photo of Hate Parties? An introvert's guide to Celebrate Graduation in Goa #Only3000 3/3 by Aishwarya Narangikar
Clockwise from Top: View from Cabo de Rama Fort; Lunch at German Bakery; On the way to Cabo de Rama; Peaceful Patnem Beach

We stayed at The Lost Hostel near Palolem Beach, which had a really nice vibe and friendly staff(and was only a minute's walk away from the beach😁). We reached our hostel way before the check in time and as previous guests had not checked out yet, we dropped our bags at the reception and went to Palolem Beach and had our breakfast of pre-packed chikkies and biscuits. After that we returned and socialized with people in our hostel. For afternoon lunch we went to German Bakery and had a sumptuous feast. This place has a really peaceful atmosphere and well priced food.(be sure to check their happy hour offers)

Then we started our beach walk at Palolem beach, and continued it through Colomb beach and Patnem beach. My favorite out of these was definitely Patnem as it was the least commercialized one and also because the crowd was mainly foreign families splashing in the waves with their kids or couples dreamily walking down the beach. This made me comfortable enough to wear a swimsuit as no one gave me a second look. Enjoy the spectacular sunset and begin your walk back to your hostel.

*Daily Budget-

Food - Rs. 165 pp

Transport - Bus ticket to Gullem - Rs. 30 pp

Accomodation - Hostel fee for 2 nights - Rs. 800 pp

Day 3 : Rent a Scooter

Wake up early and rent a scooter for the day. Rates range from Rs. 300-400. Start your day at the Cabo de Rama Fort and enjoy the magnificent view of the coastline. Then head down to Cola Beach and indulge in some kayaking in the backwaters or simply sit down and enjoy the waves. Agonda beach is the next stop, enjoy your meal at one of the pretty cafes here. If time permits, go to the hidden Butterfly Beach and enjoy the sunset. Then head back to your hotel.

Clockwise from Top: Rabies vaccination card; Beautiful shacks at Cola beach; enjoying wading at Cola beach; Lunch at Agonda beach

Photo of Hate Parties? An introvert's guide to Celebrate Graduation in Goa #Only3000 by Aishwarya Narangikar


1. Ensure to carry extra petrol with you in a plastic bottle as the route is isolated and there are no petrol pumps. One of our scooters ran out of petrol, but thankfully we had another scooter to bring back bottled petrol.

2. If you are not a skilled driver skip Cola and Butterfly beaches as the road leading here is a narrow mud track with steep inclines (I even got a silencer burn in the process). Also take into account that you will need to trek to Butterfly beach and schedule your trip accordingly.

3. Aggressive dogs are a problem in Agonda so beware. My friend was bitten by one and we had to rush her to a hospital.

4. Ensure that you are back in familiar surroundings before dusk as roads are narrow ghat roads without street lights and network is often an issue.

*Daily Budget-

Food - Breakfast - Cooked ourselves - Rs. 0

             Lunch - Rs. 205 pp

              Dinner - Fruits - Rs 20 pp

Transport - Scooter Rent(for 2 scooters)- Rs. 300 x 2 = Rs. 600 overall

Petrol - Rs. 340 overall(we didn't fill up at petrol pump so costed us more)

Day 4 : Take a bus to Ponda

Left to Right: Shantadurga Temple; Hundreds of Diya's were lighted at Shantadurga rendering an ethereal touch; Mahalakshmi Temple

Photo of Hate Parties? An introvert's guide to Celebrate Graduation in Goa #Only3000 by Aishwarya Narangikar

For reaching Ponda you will have to first take a bus going to Margao and then from a bus station take another one going towards Ponda. Ensure that when you reach Ponda get down at the Market and don't go all the way to the Bus Station. Have your lunch of fish thali at Hotel Sanman and shop around for some cashew products at V.G. Prabhu (My friend's family has been buying cashews from them since forever and the quality is great).

Many of the temples in Ponda have accomodation facilities for people belonging to their Kul(Clan) at nominal prices. And Shantadurga Temple was the Kuldaivat of one of my friends, so we got a room for just Rs. 100 per day for the four of us. As we were travel worn due to the long bus rides, we decided to nap off, and were only able to go out in the evening for some dev darshan. We attended the evening prayers at Ramnathi Mandir and Datta Mandir. Then we had dinner at the Shantadurga temple canteen.

*Daily Budget-

Food - Breakfast - Fruits brought yesterday - Rs. 0

             Lunch - Rs. 88 pp

              Dinner - Rs. 42 pp

Transport - Palolem to Margaon Bus - Rs. 45 pp

                       Margao to Ponda Bus - Rs. 20 pp

                       Ponda internal travel(Rikshaw) - Rs. 55 pp

Accomodation - Temple Room - Rs. 100 for 4 persons

Day 5 : Go for a Early Morning Temple Trek

Clockwise from Top: Hilltop view from Maruti Mandir where we were sole humans present; A long way down; Can't decide which is more green the water or the coconut plantations at Nageshi Temple

Photo of Hate Parties? An introvert's guide to Celebrate Graduation in Goa #Only3000 by Aishwarya Narangikar

Temples is Ponda are just something else, with their vast courtyards, towering deepmalas, and surrounded by emerald plantations, they just transport you to a world of calm. We got up early, and went for a ~8km long temple trek, chronologically covering Maruti Mandir, Nageshi Mandir and Mahalakshmi Mandir. Then I had the best fish thali of my life at Sai Dutta Bhojanalaya. The place is actually the home of Naik family and you have to contact them a day prior so that they will prepare the food accordingly.

We then returned to our room, packed our bags and left for Margao. On reaching Margao Bus stand we took a local bus to Colva beach(and here the nightmare started). Some of our co-passengers(creepy uncles!) started suggesting us that we get down at Benaulim beach instead of Colva. They seemed like sketchy characters so we ignored them. But then when we got down at Colva we noticed that one of them was still following us from a distance, and continuously talking with on the phone. When we pretended to approached a police officer that person vanished. Even in general, we felt very uncomfortable at Colva, seeing that we were a group of unaccompanied females, many creepy men were continously trying to sneak a picture of us, and pass lewd comments at us. So, we decided to depart for Madgaon station earlier than scheduled, and took a taxi rather than wait for a bus, because of all the strange looks we were getting.

Clockwise from Top: Surmayi Thali at Sai Dutt Bhojanalay; Quaint little streets of rural Ponda; Sunset at Colva Beach

Photo of Hate Parties? An introvert's guide to Celebrate Graduation in Goa #Only3000 by Aishwarya Narangikar

*Daily Budget-

Food - Breakfast - Rs. 35 pp

              Lunch - Fish thali - Rs. 203 pp

               Dinner - Rs. 34 pp

Transport - Shantadurga temple to Ponda Bus - Rs. 15 pp

                       Ponda to Margaon Bus - Rs. 25 pp

                       Margao to Colva Bus - Rs. 20 pp

                       Colva to Madgaon station taxi - Rs. 350 overall

We boarded the overnight train to Mumbai at 8.30pm and this marked the end of our wonderful journey. This was our very first self organized trip and to be honest it was not all sunshines and rainbows, our bus broke down, scooter broke down, ran out of petrol, were stuck in the middle of nowhere with no GPS signal, got bitten by dogs and got silencer burns, I was even forbidden entry to a temple because well I was wearing shorts in lieu of my burn injuries(but patriarchy is a topic for another time!).

But these struggles did not take away any of the joy we felt on accomplishing this trip on our own. When we go out with our parents we get this kind of unspoken security cover, but travelling alone as unaccompanied women made us realize the prejudices that women still face. But don't let these prejudices scare you away from travelling, after all prejudices will only be broken if you defy them. Explore away!