Khandallah – When you hear this word, can you think of what comes to your mind? If you are a Bollywood fan then it would be Immediately Amir Khan’s hit song “Aati Kya Khandala?” from the movie Ghulam correct? And probably, with a reference to the hill station in the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra. And then your thoughts and imagination would take you right into the green hills, covered with fog and low lying clouds, thinking of a hill station holiday straight away; walking along the streets with probably some chai & pakodas isn’t it? Ah ! I’m dreaming of my next get away in the Banks Peninsula already. Well well, while that thinking is definitely the most appropriate one because Khandala is infact blessed with natural beauty with a deep valley on one side and high hills on the other. And it is a very popular holiday destination for people living in Mumbai and Pune regions in India specially during summer, as it is at a considerable height from sea level and enjoys a cooler climate. Add to that taking away all the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities, the place is ideal for people of all ages no doubt.

Now this post isn’t about that hill station in India at all. It is infact about a suburb in Wellington that is named after Khandala and yes you guessed it right, it’s called KHANDALLAH !! And I’m not making it up. Having lived on Kashmir (spelt Cashmere) Avenue for the last year or so and having traversed through streets called Delhi Cresent, Gavaskar Place, Punjab Street, Shastri Terrace, Himalaya Crescent and many more I felt the need to make people aware that this Khandallah in New Zealand actually exists and many of them find it interesting that it does. To a lot of my friends and family in India it actually brings a smile for some reason when they know I live in Khandallah. The immediate question they pose me is “Are there many Indians living around” !! Hehe so typical isn’t it..

For those who do not know, Khandallah is a suburb of hills and valleys northeast of Wellington, about 4.5km from the capital city’s CBD. Its proximity to the city, not to mention its good schools, parks, sporting facilities and other amenities, means this tranquil and green area is extremely popular with families and professionals. It is one of the more expensive suburbs in the city for buying properties, specially the ones that are high up the hills and over look either the valley or the harbour. Some of the most expensive houses in the city are located in this suburb for sure ! While not every one of them might be worth it as such, a lot of them have stunning views of the harbour one side and the valley & mountains on the other.

I commute to/from work on public transport and I take the bus mostly. And every day when the bus goes through the valleys up and down I tell to myself how amazingly beautiful the suburb is, in turn making Wellington an amazing place too. Being a hardcore Wellington fan I can’t tell this enough, but unless you live in Wellington you will never know what you are missing out in life. Even to this day of all the cities in the world that I have been to, nothing comes even close to Wellington. Anyway back to Khandallah, you do know that the word Khandallah means ‘hills and valleys’, or ‘home of the god’ or ‘resting place of god eh? Not sure about town in India but that meaning really holds true for this suburb in Wellington. It definitely feels like you are living in a hill station which his only minutes away from the city centre, the harbour and the coast !! Ah lucky for some of us…

How did Khandallah, Wellington get its name?The suburb of Khandallah got its name from the homestead which was built on the corner of Burma Rd and Kim St on land that belonged to James Boddington. The homestead was called Khandallah.An Indian army officer named the area Khandallah. Probably Captain Edward Battersbee might have done it because of his military station in India. Also Captain James Andrew lived at the homestead and some information says he named the area. He definitely named Khandallah Station as he gave some of his land for the Khandallah railway station to be built when they built the Wellington to Manawatu Railway in about 1894. Khandallah was part of the Onslow Borough which became part of Wellington in 1919. Then in the mid 1920s many street names were changed to Indian names to reflect the name of the suburb. Before this they had names after the houses or families in the streets.[Source: http://www.livingheritage.org.nz]

And some interesting links for those who want to find out more followed by some images of Khandallah itself..

  • Full list of Street Names in Khandallah – HERE
  • More about Khandallah – HERE
  • Stuff.co.nz article about Coolest Little Suburb of Khandallah – HERE