The suburb is located between the Tullamarine Freeway and Mount Alexander Road, south of Ormond Road, however some of this area is still incorrectly referred to as Ascot Vale. Travancore was initially supposed to encompass the entirety of the area flanked by Ormond and Mount Alexander Roads and the Tullamarine Freeway. Steps are underway by the Moonee Valley City Council to bring the remainder of the initial proposed area of Travancore back into the suburb. This will then give a true reflection of what was originally proposed and, in turn, reduce the footprint of the suburb of Ascot Vale.
Travancore takes its name from the Travancore Mansion and Estate, a property owned by Henry Madden. Madden purchased the property, previously Flemington House, from the relatives of Hugh Glass in 1906 and renamed the property. Henry exported horses to India (hence the property is named after the Indian state of Travancore present day city of Trivandrum). When the land around Travancore Mansion was sub-divided, many of the streets were named in keeping with the Indian theme, such as Lucknow Street, Bengal Street, Cashmere Street and Mangalore Street. Many of the houses reflect the Old English architecture of the former Travancore region of India in the state of Kerala.
The Travancore Mansion was purchased by the Victorian Government and became a special education school. The original Flemington House/Travancore Mansion was demolished in the 1940s. The area is now occupied by Travancore Mental Health Service.
The Flemington Primary School has the "fancy" gates that once belonged to the Travancore Mansion.
The Flemington Tram Depot, located on Mount Alexander Road, Travancore is on the Victorian Heritage Register.
Travancore, only 5 km from Melbourne's CBD, has seen a transformation in recent years following a fire that destroyed the Lombard Paper Factory. This was replaced with residential towers that now flank the suburb on the southern side.