Valley of Flowers is as full of flowers as of exotic animal species and birds. It is a sight to watch, explore and absorb. The valley is a riot of colors and fragrances so unique and exotic that one needs an entire day just to take in whatever nature is giving us that time. The valley of flowers was ‘discovered’ accidentally by Frank S. Smith in 1931 after he lost his way on a trek back to his base. It was fully explored by botanist Margaret Legge in 1939 but unfortunately she lost her life in a landslide soon after. Spread over an area of over 87.50 sq km, the Valley of Flowers was declared a national park in 1982. It was acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Valley of Flowers is located on the upper extension of Bhyundar Ganga, Zanskar range of the Himalayas in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Valley of Flowers is between the months of July to September since the valley is at full bloom in that period. Though it is open from June to October, the summer and autumn holiday rush respectively makes it impossible sometimes to get a reservation in the rest house.
All visitors to the Valley of Flowers need to obtain an entry permit from the Forest Check Post at the entrance to the park, beyond Ghangaria. Though the charges are nominal, extra charges for still cameras and video recorders are only allowed if one has written permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden.
The valley is of course filled with flowers of hundereds of species mostly being Orchids, Poppies, Primula, Calendulas, Iris, Lily, Roses, Violets, Rhododendron, Angelica, Himalayan Fritillary, Daisies and Anemones. The trees consist of mainly Birch and Rhododendron since the region is alpine in nature.
The reserve is home to animals such as the Himalayan Tahr, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Red Fox, Common Langur (a type of monkey), Bharal, Serow, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Pica (Mouse hare) and a huge variety of butterflies. The variety of birds consists of avian-fauna such as Himalayan Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Snow Partridge, Himalayan Snow Cock, Himalayan Monal, Snow Pigeon, Sparrow Hawk etc.