Established amidst one of the hustling places of Mumbai, Flora Fountain stands with pride. Built in 1864, it was constructed under the British colonial government. It was devoted to the Governor of Bombay, Sir Bartle Frere. The fountain wells up like a natural spring with splashing sound of water falling into the basin surrounded by lion heads.
The fine carving of the sculpture and the base of the fountain resembles the influences of culture. The fountain includes four sculptures, a basin-like structure surrounded by fishes and lion heads, and a statue of Flora that crowns the monument with a poise.
Tackled with restoration work, the Flora Fountain was back to its authentic and integral form by January 2019. One of the significant parts of Mumbai, Flora Fountain is a reminder of the colonial period. It is a part of a collection of ornate civic monuments of Victorian-era fountains.
Surrounded by the buildings constructed during British Raj, Flora fountain is super close to the other attractions of Mumbai like Gateway of India, Marine Drive, Rajabai Clock Tower, and much more! Plan a day-long itinerary to not miss any of these. Here, you can indulge in shopping, exploring architectural beauties, and savouring local delicacies.
A blend of traditional and modern styles of architecture, Flora Fountain conserves the heritage of India. Gaining another feather in its hat, the 155-year-old Flora Fountain has been chosen from India for the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. It bagged four of the 16 awards by UNESCO.
History of Flora Fountain:The Flora Fountain was built by the British colonial government that ruled Bombay in 1864. It was initially named after the Governor of Bombay, Sir Bartle Frere, the man responsible for building a modern Mumbai. But before the inauguration, the name ‘Flora’ was conferred on it - the Roman goddess of fertility, flowers, and spring.
It was constructed by the Agri-Horticultural Society of Western India in 1864 with the help of a donation by Cursetjee Fardoonjee Parekh, a wealthy Parsi businessman.
The origins of the fountain lay in the demolition of the fort walls. The Fort had three gates – Bazaar Gate, Apollo Gate, and Church Gate – before its demolition, Flora Fountain was installed at the same spot. It stands next to another monument, a stone statue bearing a pair of torches holding patriots, honouring the soldiers of the Samyuktha Maharashtra Samiti who fought for a separate Maharashtrian state, called Martyr’s square or Hutatma Chowk.
The Architecture of Flora Fountain:Flora Fountain was designed by Richard Norman Shaw and carved by James Forsythe, inspired by Neo-Gothic and Indo-Saracenic architecture styles. The Flora’s structure stands on a 32 ft high base of the fountain, and Flora, on top, is 7 ft. It is sculpted from Portland Stone and coated with a layer of white oil paint. The original limestone is a luminous pale beige.
The fountain consists of statues with four fine details – one with a braid, another with the facial expression of a smirk, one with disc earrings, and the last one with the anklets. At Flora’s feet, you can observe four fishes and 20 lion heads on the basin. In January 2019, a renewed fountain was established successfully and unveiled to Mumbaikars.