Cumbharjua is one of the scenic villages set amidst the beautiful backwaters of Goa, 20 kms from Panaji via Banastarim bridge, thus offering a water dominated vista. The northern road beyond the famous churches of Old Goa is much more feasible to approach this village bounded by the Mandovi.
It is 4 kms away from Banastarim and 1-2 kms from its nearest neighbour, Marcela. It is well connected in terms of transport and has a wide network of buses carrying commuters to other parts of Goa.
The village is made up of 7 different wards comprising of Gandaulim, Surchebhat, Talapvaddo, Khalapvaddo, Rambhuvanvaddo, Gavantvaddo and Khadavaddo and shares its boundaries with St. Estevam, Marcella and Banastarim.
The bridge connecting it with Marcela was built in 1967 wherein earlier there was just a canoe which was the only mode of transport. This village just like other Hindu villages, has a lot of temples in every ward, wherein the Shantadurga temple and the Rama temple are much more prominent. It is during Ganesh Chaturthi that this rural and backward village comes alive especially during the ‘Sangodd’ wherein Ganesh idols are immersed amidst great pomp and celebrations in canoes.
It is heavily populated as compared to other rural villages, estimated population being close to 10,000 inhabitants and has small houses predominantly. The only notable church of the Catholic community is that of Sao Braz, built by the Croatian sailors at Gandaulim on the western bank of the river. Besides there is a small chapel dedicated to St. Francis Xavier founded by the Jesuits in 1655.
Although the name of the village ‘Cumbharjua’ suggests that this village is well known for its art of pottery, coir products and fishing trade is also a prominent occupation of the locals. Several villagers are well known for their prodigious talent in making clay idols of Lord Ganesh which are very famous all over Goa.
Cumbharjua has its share of eminent personalities and families, the most significant being the Dhume house (having 7 wells), Kenkare, Lawande and the Vitthalbhat house. Cumbharjua is also well known for the Cumbharjua canal also known as 'Crocodile Dundee' which is a habitat for crocodiles who are in fact worshipped by the villagers in the belief that they would not attack humans.
Colorful motor boats filled with foreign tourists invade the lakes and ponds of Cumbharjua looking forward to taking pictures of these benign reptiles who are quite shy and escape at the slightest provocation. So also, Cumbharjua is a well known habitat for different Goan birds, specially the kingfisher, which has led tourists to visit this picturesque village specially for river cruises.
The village also has its share of educational institutes and has a good railway network from where the Konkan railway passes through this idyllic village, with a level crossing on the Old Goa-Gandaulim road and a small tunnel to the south of the crossing, en route to the Carambolim station.