The Valley was introduced to the world as the Valley of Flowers by Frank S, Smith – mountaineer, explorer, botanist who camped here for several weeks in the monsoon of 1937 and did valuable exploratory work. He authored a book called The Valley of Flowers which unveiled the beauty and floral splendors of the valley and thus threw open the doors of this verdant jewel to nature-enthusiasts all over the world.
In 1939, Miss Margarate Legge, a botanist deputed by the botanical gardens of Edinburgh arrived at the valley for further studies. While she was traversing some rocky slopes to collect flowers, she slipped off and was lost for ever in the garden of the gods. Her sister later visited the valley and erected a memorial on the spot where she was buried by the locals.
The Valley of Flowers was declared a national park in 1982. This part of Uttarakhand, in the upper reaches of Garhwal, is inaccessible through much of the year. The area lies on the Zanskar range of the Himalayas with the highest point in the national park being Gauri Parbat at 6,719 m above sea level.
There is no settlement in the national park and grazing in the area has been banned. The park is open only in summers between June and October, being covered by heavy snow during the rest of the year.
he park is home to tahr, snow leopard, musk deer, red fox, common langur, bharal, serow, Himalayan black bear and a huge variety of butterflies.
Flowers mostly orchids, poppies, primulas, calendulas, daisies and anemones carpet the ground. Alpine forests of birch and rhododendron cover parts of the park’s area.