Valley of Flowers is an Indian National Park, located in North Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand and is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora.
Situated at an elevation of 3352 to 3658 meters above sea level, the park stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km2 and it is about 8 km long and 2 km wide. The park lies completely in the temperate alpine zone. Nanda Devi National Park Reserve is in the UNESCO World network of Biosphere reserves.
The place was little known to the outside world due to its inaccessibility. In 1931, Frank S. Smythe, Eric Shipton and R.L. Holdsworth all British mountaineers, lost their way while returning from a successful expedition to Mt. Kamet and happened upon the valley, which was full of flowers. They were attracted to the beauty of the area and named it the "Valley of Flowers." Frank Smythe later authored a book of the same name.
In 1939, Joan Margaret Legge, a botanist deputed by the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew arrived at the valley to study flowers and while traversing some rocky slopes to collect flowers, she slipped off and lost her life. Her sister later visited the valley and erected a memorial near the spot, one can easily spot it here.
This richly diverse area is also home to rare and endangered animals, including the Asiatic black bear, Snow leopard, Musk deer, Brown bear, Red fox and Blue sheep. Birds found in the park include Himalayan Monal pheasant and other high-altitude birds.