The valley is known for its lush endemic alpine flower meadows and distinct varieties of flora, thus giving it the name Valley of Flowers.
Valley of Flowers was actually, accidentally discovered in the year 1931, by three mountaineers - Frank S Smythe, Eric Shipton and RL Holdsworth, while returning after an expedition to Mount Kamet. They happened to come across this beautiful valley full of incredible flowers, and awed by its floral gorgeousness, named it the Valley of Flowers. It slowly began becoming a favourite to adventure lovers due to its beautiful landscaping that called out to trekkers and mountaineers.
After facing some border disputes and being closed down some years later (in early 1960s), the valley was re-opened to mountaineers in 1974, while having its flora protected.
In the year 1980, it was declared a national park by Government Order, under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, for the conservation of its unique flora.
In 1993, Prof. Chandra Prakash Kala, a botanist deputed by the Wildlife Institute of India, carried out a research study on the floristics and conservation of this valley. The study went on for a decade during which he established an inventory of about 520 alpine plants exclusively growing in this national park.
The Valley of flowers is located at 12,000 feet high, and nestled in the upper expanses of Bhyundar Ganga in the mountainous (Himalayan) Garhwal region. The Valley is 20 km northwest of Nanda Devi National Park – a well-known biosphere reserve across the wide valley of the Bhyundar Ganga.
The lower reaches of Bhyundar Ganga are known as Bhyundar Valley; and the Valley of Flowers is one of two hanging valleys lying at the head of the Bhyundar valley (the other being Hemkund Valley). The Bhyundar valley is situated near a town called Govindghat, in the state of Uttarakhand.
The entry ticket to the Valley of Flowers costs INR 150 for Indian nationals and 650 rupees for foreigners – this ticket makes each person eligible for a 3-day pass to the valley.
Each additional day costs an extra fee, which is - INR 50 for Indian nationals and INR 250 rupees for foreign nationals.
To reach the Valley of flowers:
Motorable roads are available only till Govindghat town. From Govindghat, a local transport and reach nearby Pulna Village, which is located just 4 kilometers away from the Valley of Flowers. There's a Forest Department checkpoint near this village, which marks the official beginning of The Valley of Flowers.