Travelogue : A Visit to 'Mangalore Street'

Jun 5, 2008

Oh! Mangalore, Mangaluru, Kudla, Kodial, Mangalapuram, Maikala…
You have many a name-sake in the Continent of Australia!!!
You are named after a Flora, Fauna and a Pub
You are a Private Airport and a Gliding Club
You are a Station Toilet and a Fishing Spot
You are a Settlement, a Farm, a Tier, a Rise and what not?
A major Railway Station is named after you too…
And a few others may spring up as we search for you.

Having all said and done -
Now, let me take 'the readers' for a visit 
To your own Street...
In the suburb of Travancore!


After a visit to the locality/settlement of Mangalore and the nearby Mangalore Private Airport (that I covered in my last piece), on our return journey we visited Travancore, a plush residential suburb situated on the north of Melbourne city between the Tullamarine Freeway and Mount Alexander Road, that lies to the south of Ormond Road. Travancore takes its name from Travancore House, a property owned by Henry Madden (who exported horses to India), who purchased the property from Hugh Glass in 1906 and renamed the property after the former Indian princely State of Travancore. Later Travancore House was demolished to make way for a special education school in 1940. The area is now occupied by Travancore Mental Health Service. 

Though the property Travancore existed from early part of the twentieth century as explained above with places named after Indian themes as mentioned below, the suburb of Travancore however is a recent creation. In the year 1998, the Victorian State government in a review of postcode boundaries and suburb names determined that an area south of Ormond Road, east of Mount Alexander Road to the junction with the Tullamarine Freeway and Moonee Ponds Creek and then west of the Moonee Ponds creek would be henceforward called as Travancore and not Ascot Vale, by which it was known until then. That's why certain publications even today incorrectly quote 'Mangalore Street' in the suburb of Ascot Vale. The changes once proclaimed were acted on and the property addresses were changed to the new suburb. Travancore is surrounded by the suburbs of Ascot Vale in the North, Parkville in the East and Flemington in the south and east.

The suburb of Travancore has a lot of places named after Indian themes. We drove on the Mount Alexander Road passing the Travancore Reserve. Then we took a left turn into the Baroda Street, a long street of two kilometres that emanates from the suburb of Ascot Vale continuing into the Travancore suburb that have Madura, Lucknow, Cashmere and Mooltan Streets perpendicular branching from its right. The point of interest for us was the third branch Cashmere Street (Cashmere is the variant of Kashmir - both are named after landmarks in many suburbs in other parts throughout Australia) which we accessed by turning right to head to our destination. 

Driving in between the cars parked on either side of the road (being a week-end) in our maroon Mitsubishi Magna Altera, our excitement knew no bounds as a little further down this street was indeed a street named after our hometown - the Mangalore Street.

A couple of minutes driving down on the Cashmere Street, we had a glance from a distance at a street board of 'Mangalore' pointing towards the right and our hearts for sure missed a beat. 



This is our own street away from home. The entrance to the street from the southern side from where we had entered looked to be a broad road. We drove slowly up and down the virtually empty street for at least four times as I can remember looking on either side as to the immoveable assets it holds. Wondered the demographic composition it was made up of! It was a quiet beautiful street about a kilometre long with trees lined up on either sides and hidden behind those were those typical ozzie residential houses.

Mangalore Street is perpendicular to Cashmere Street and Madura and Lucknow Streets are perpendicular to Mangalore Street. In other words driving on the Mangalore Street, one can access the two mentioned streets.

Note: The 'Index of Streets' of the popular street Directory 'Melway' lists Mangalore Street under two suburbs - the Travancore suburb as well as the adjacent (northern) suburb of Ascot Vale. 'Melway' frequently dual index street names where there could be confusion as to the correct suburb. In this case as Travancore being a recently created suburb as explained, long time residents may still be quoting the old suburb name of Ascot Vale. So, it is important that emergency services can lookup for the correct location without wasting time. Moreover, both Travancore and Ascot Vale share the same postcodes as many other suburbs in Victoria.

Origin of the name Mangalore in 'Mangalore Street,' Travancore suburb, Victoria State, Australia

Not even an iota of doubt here as to from where the name Mangalore has come from. Of course, from the Mangalore on the western coast of India. As mentioned earlier Henry Madden purchased this property (known by a different name hitherto) in 1906 and renamed it with Indian names. He was obsessed with India and had a strong Indian connection. No wonder then, the majority of streets in this little suburb are named after Indian cities including our own Mangalore. The interesting fact to be noted here is Mangalore is standing tall with other popular places in India of yesteryears like Travancore, Baroda, Madura, Lucknow, Delhi, Bengal, Cashmere that are found in this small suburb. To be given the status with par with the places mentioned, it's a great triumph to our home town unbeknown to most of us. 


Location: Mangalore Street (5 ks/3 miles) from Melbourne City
Speciality: Residential Suburb
Suburb: Travancore
Post Code: 3032
Suburb Population: 811 (2001 census)
Local Council: City of Moonee Valley
Area: 0.4 km² (0.2 sq mi)
Sub region: Northern Victoria
Region: Melbourne
State: Victoria
Victoria State Capital City: Melbourne
Country: Australia  

Identical/Similar names 

A research of identical/similar names in Australia in general and the State of Victoria in particular vis-à-vis South Kanara district yielded some interesting results. This is just an attempt to match the place names to some of those in South Kanara District. It should be understood that many of the place names in our District are in fact not original names, having been copied from elsewhere. 

Highland Avenue; Suburb: Hampton Park. 


The locality of Highlands in Mangalore near Falnir/Vaslane brings me back memories of my younger days where I was a frequent visitor to this locality with lots of friends residing. Moreover, I was involved in the famous landmark there in Unity Health Complex, auditing that hospital for a couple of months every year. An 'Avenue' denotes a wide straight road with trees on both sides. The Highland (Avenue) pictured above is an alphabet short. However, the exact spell-match in Victoria could be found in 'Highlands Avenue' in Airport West, 'Highlands Court' in the western suburb of Sunbury and 'Highlands Road' in the northern suburb of Thomastown. Apart from the State of Victoria, the place 'Highlands' is widely named in other parts of Australia especially in the State of Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.


Cassia Court; Suburb: Endeavour Hills


A Court is a cluster of houses in an area what we generally back home call as a 'Compound/Premises' with the same entrance and exit without any through road. The houses in a Court may vary from 4 to 40… depending on the size of the Court. Apart from being safe, in a Court there tends to be a feeling of community living of different cultural backgrounds especially here in Australia. The picture 'Cassia Court' in the outer south-east suburb of Endeavour Hills is a close match to the locality of Cascia in Mangalore. We can also find 'Cassia Close' in the suburbs of Greensborough and Plenty; 'Cassia Courts' apart from the one pictured in the suburbs of Hoppers Crossing, Keysborough, Mill Park, Newcomb, St. Albans and Wantima; 'Cassia Grove' in Frankston, 'Cassia Road' in Melton, 'Cassia Streets' in Clayton, Doncaster East, Doveton and Notting Hill. Queensland has Cassia listed twenty-three times, New South Wales eleven, Western Australia six, South Australia four and Australian Capital Territory twice.   

Belle Circuit; Suburb: Berwick.

Moodubelle-ites would be thrilled to know that the State of Victoria hosts a lot of 'Belles' as the one pictured above in Berwick, an outer suburb in south-east of Melbourne. A 'Circuit' denotes a line, route or journey around a place, in this case being a route. There is a 'Belle Avenue' in the plush suburb of Brighton, 'Belle Crescent' in Modialloc, 'Belle Avenue' in Wangaratta and 'Belle Gardens Drive' in Mildura. To top it all, there is a 'Belles Lane' in the suburb of Tirgalpa in Queensland.

The Bunt community would be proud to know that one of their family names (on some occasions Catholic) 'Alva' finds a mention here in different parts of Australia (the 'Alva' origin in Australia I have not researched). There is an 'Alva Street' in Tweed Heads, 'Alva Terrace' in Gordon Park in the State of Queensland; 'Alva Street' in Para Vista in the State of South Australia; 'Alva Place' in Riverstone in the State of New South Wales and 'Alvah Street' in St. James in the State of Western Australia. Likewise the Jain family name 'Ballal' is found in the form of a near similarity as 'Balal Street' in Stafford in Queensland.

We can find the term 'Canara' in 'Canara Streets' in the suburbs of Benow and Norman Park (Queensland), in Doncaster East (Victoria); 'Canara Courts' in Bayswater and Greensborough, 'Canara Mews' in St. Leonards and 'Canara Road' in Westminster (Western Australia). The place Valencia is listed many times in and around Australia but we must remember the locality name of Valencia (near Kankanady) in Mangalore is copied in itself. 

If dug deeper, the list could be further expanded.

Also see PART II :

by Stephen P. D’Souza, Melbourne - Australia
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Comment on this article

  • Vally & Bertha Fernandes, Kulshekar/Mangalore

    Sat, Jun 07 2008

    Very interesting article and pictures, Stephen D'Souza.

  • joe desouza, udipi, new zealand

    Sat, Jun 07 2008

    It is heart warming to all Mangaloreans. But imagine the consequences of naming a street in mangalore as say, 'Sydney street'!!! You need a big accommodating heart for these gestures which we Indians used to have.

  • Dr Eugene D'Souza, Moodubelle/Dombivli

    Thu, Jun 05 2008

    Quite interesting and informative research article by Mr Stephen D'Souza with pictures bearing similar sounding names of the streets and places found in India specially Mangalore and Goa. Not surprised to know that there are a number of 'Belles'in the state of Victoria as in other parts of the world. According to Chambers Twentieth century Dictionary, 'Belle' means a handsome woman: the chief beauty of a place: a fair lady generally. By the way there are a number of Catholic families bearing the surname 'Alva' in Moodubelle.

  • simon lasrado, Sullia/Bangalore

    Thu, Jun 05 2008

    Thank you Stephen for Raising the name of Mangalore high in the land of Australia. Whatsoever whether Kudla or Mangalore, let the foreign countries remember the name of Mangalore our thainaadu.

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