Flora Fountain at the Hutatma Chowk near the Fort business district in Mumbai, was built in the year 1864. The name flora was given to the fountain just before its inauguration, and on the name of the Roman Goddess of Flowers (Flora). Even a sculpture of the goddess herself is sculpted on the top the structure. Earlier the fountain was named after the then Governor of Bombay, Sir Bartle Frere who was responsible for many great public buildings in the town. It was until almost a decade from its inauguration, in 1960, the site of the fountain also became famous as the martyrs square or hutatma chowk. It was named as such in order to honour the 105 members of the ‘Samyuktha Maharashtra Samiti’, who fought and lost their lives for a separate Maharashtra State. Also, it is know as the Piccadilly Circus of Mumbai.
The design of the fountain was done by Richard Norman Shaw and James Forsythe was the one who sculpted the fountain from Portland stones and covering them with white oil paint. And the statue of the Goddess Flora on top makes the fountain look more exquisite. The construction of the statue amounted to Rs. 47,000/-, of which Rs. 20,000/- came in as donation from Cursetjee Fardoonjee Parekh.
The fountain was built by the Agri-Horticultural society of Western India. This piece of attraction was originally built for the Victoria Gardens at Byculla. Another piece of history related to the fountain says, the place where this fountain stands was the place where the churchgate of bombay fort once stood.
In 2016, the restoration of the fountain started and was unveiled on 24th Jan 2019. The restoration of the Gothic Architecture was done by Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH).
The Flora Fountain is also declared as an Indian Heritage Structure and also has bagged UNESCO Heritage Award in 2019. It is the major commercial hub of the city as, Bombay University, Bombay Stock Exchange and Gateway of India among other attractions, are in the same region.