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Valley of Flowers National Park complete detail – updated

Valley of Flowers National Park complete detail – updated. Geography of Valley of Flowers National Park. Dominant flora and fauna of Valley of Flowers National Park. How to Reach Valley of Flowers National Park. The park is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora.
Total area of the park is 87.50 Km2. It was established as a National Park in the year of 1982. The Valley of Flowers is a place where the nature blooms with its entire vista can be accessible by a tedious but lovely stroll. Eye catching spectacles like the cascading waterfalls, small streams and above all the flowery meadows awaits the visitors all through the way.
National park is an area which is strictly reserved for the betterment of the wildlife & biodiversity, and where activities like developmental, forestry, poaching, hunting and grazing on cultivation are not permitted. Their boundaries are well marked and circumscribed.

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Valley of Flowers National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Chamoli district of the state of Uttarakhand. The Valley of Flowers National Park is the second core zone of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.

It was established as a National Park in the year of 1982. Total area of the park is 87.50 Km2. The park is also a part of World Heritage Site.

The adjoining Valley of Flowers National park and this park were recognized as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988. The park was further notified as World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in 2004.

The Valley of Flowers is a high-altitude Himalayan valley that has long been acknowledged by renowned mountaineers, botanists, and in literature.

Click here to view state wise list of Indian national parks – updated

The park is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and the variety of flora. This lush region is also home to some rare and endangered animal species, including the Asiatic black bear, Snow leopard, Musk deer, Brown bear, Red fox, Blue sheep etc.

The park is also a suitable habitat for birds like Himalayan monal, Himalayan golden eagle, snow partridge, Himalayan snow cock, Himalayan monal, Snow pigeon etc.

It has been recognized internationally for over a century and is referenced in the Hindu religion. Local people have visited the valley since ancient times.

The Valley of Flowers has many different colorful flowers, taking on various shades of colors as time progressed. Endowed with a diverse range of endemic flora, it is picturesque in its beauty. More than 650 species of flowers including Brahmakamal, Blue Poppy and Cobra Lily can be found in the park.

The Valley of Flowers is also believed to be the place from where Hanuman brought the magical herb to resuscitate Lakshman in the Hindu epic Ramayana. The legend still holds value as many people continue to believe that Sanjeevani, the magical herb, continues to grow in the park. Still pristine and enchanting, there are other legends associated with the park.

The Valley of Flowers presents a different look each day when it becomes accessible from May to September. There are no human settlements inside the national park and grazing has been completely banned.

The Valley is accessible from last week of May after the snow melts. After the snow melts and the monsoons begin, the plants begin to bloom in July and August. In September, the plants prepare for over eight-months of hibernation. By the end of September, the valley is again carpeted under snow.

The Valley of Flowers is a place where the nature blooms with its entire vista can be accessible by a tedious but lovely stroll. Eye catching spectacles like the cascading waterfalls, small streams and above all the flowery meadows awaits the visitors all through the way. With the flamboyant paddocks, crystalline streams and majestic peaks, this baroque of flowers is a worthy watch spectacle.

History

In the year 1931 a British mountaineer Frank S. Smythe along with six other mountaineer climbed Kamet. Kamet is a mountain 25447 feet and situated in Uttarakhand. After successful climbing they descended towards Bhundar Pass on that day it was wet and very cold. Below 600 feet it was raining and above that it was sleet or snow they lost the route due to dense mist around them. Frank S. Smythe named the place Valley of Flowers and also wrote a book with the same name.

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In 1939, Miss Margaret Legge, a botanist deputed by the botanical gardens of Edinburgh arrived at the valley of flowers for further studies, while she slipped off and was lost forever in the garden of the gods. Her sister later visited the valley of flowers and erected a memorial on the spot where she was buried by the locals. The thoughtful memorial is still there.

Hindu mythology refers to the valley as ‘Nandan Kanan‘, the Garden of Indra in Paradise. Lakshman is believed to have meditated on the banks of the Hemkund and the life-saving ‘Sanjeevani Buti’ is also said to have been found here. A little-known temple of Lokpal dedicated to Lakshman is present in the valley.

The place is revered by Hindus and Sikhs alike. In the Granth Sahib, Guru Gobind Singh is believed to have made reference to his meditations in a previous life, poised on the banks of a lake surrounded by seven snow peaks, now recognized as Hemkund. It was established as a National Park in the year of 1982.

In March 1986, it was here that A.B. Wooldridge took what he claimed was the first photograph ever of an animal that could be Homo anomalous.

In the year of 1988, the Nanda Devi National Biosphere Reserve established (223,674 ha) with the national park as core zone (62,462 ha) and a 514,857 ha buffer area surrounding both sites; restrictions were imposed on the rights of nearby villagers

Prof. C. P. Kala, a botanist deputed by the Wildlife Institute of India, carried out a research study on the floristic and conservation of the valley for a decade, beginning in 1993. He made an inventory of 520 alpine plants exclusively growing in this national park and authored two important books – “The Valley of Flowers – Myth and Reality” and “Ecology and Conservation of the Valley of Flowers National Park, Garhwal Himalaya.

In the year of 2000, the Biosphere Reserve extended by the government to 586,069 ha and the Valley of Flowers National Park was added as the second core zone (62,462 ha+ 8,750 ha, totaling core areas of 71,212 ha). In 2004, the two core zones and buffer zone designated a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve.

Geography

Valley of Flowers National Park is located in the Chamoli district of the state of Uttarakhand. The Valley of Flowers National Park is the second core zone of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Total area of the park is 87.50 Km2.

The Valley of Flowers is a high-altitude Himalayan valley that has long been acknowledged by renowned mountaineers, botanists, and in literature.

The valley of Flowers National Park starts from Ghangharia but the main valley starts after crossing the gorge and the stream starting from Nar Parvat, At the entrance of the Valley stands the snow-clad peak of Ratban Parvat, towards the left is Nar Parvat, which separates the Badrinath valley from this valley, and to the right is dense Birch forest on the hillsides.

The Valley of Flowers is nestled in the upper expanses of Bhyundar Ganga near Joshimath in Gharwal region. The lower reaches of Bhyundar Ganga near Gobind ghat are known as Bhyundar Valley.

The Valley of Flowers has many different colorful flowers, taking on various shades of colors as time progressed. Endowed with a diverse range of endemic flora, it is picturesque in its beauty. More than 650 species of flowers including Brahmakamal, Blue Poppy and Cobra Lily can be found in the park.

The Valley of Flowers is a place where the nature blooms with its entire vista can be accessible by a tedious but lovely stroll. Eye catching spectacles like the cascading waterfalls, small streams and above all the flowery meadows awaits the visitors all through the way. With the flamboyant paddocks, crystalline streams and majestic peaks, this baroque of flowers is a worthy watch spectacle.

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The Valley of Flowers has gained importance as a region containing a diversity of alpine flora, representative of the Western Himalayan alpine shrub and Meadows Eco region. The rich diversity of species reflects the valley’s location within a transition zone between the Zanskar range of the Himalayas ranges to the north and south, respectively, and between the Eastern Himalaya and Western Himalaya flora.

Being an inner Himalayan valley, the Nanda Devi Basin has a distinctive microclimate. Conditions are generally dry with low annual precipitation, but there is heavy monsoon rainfall from late June to early September.

Prevailing mist and low cloud during the monsoon keeps the soil moist, hence the vegetation is lusher than is usual in the drier inner Himalayan valleys.

State wise list of Wildlife Sanctuaries of India – updated 

The habitats include valley bottom, river bed, small forests, meadows, eroded, scrubby and stable slopes, moraine, plateau, bogs, stone desert and caves. The lower surrounding hills in the buffer zone are thickly forested.

The Valley of Flowers also has the microclimate of an enclosed inner Himalayan valley, and is shielded from the full impact of the southwest summer monsoon by the Greater Himalaya range to its south. There is often dense fog and rain especially during the late summer monsoon. Both Basin and Valley are usually snow-bound for six to seven months between late October and late March, the snow accumulating deeper and at lower altitudes on the shadowed southern than on the northern side of the valleys.

Dominant flora

Aconitum falconeriMeconopsis aculeata, Saussurea atkinsoni, Saussurea obvallata, Acer caesium, Abies pindrow, Betula utilis, Taxus wallichianaSyringa emodiSorbus lanata, Arisaema jacquemontiiBoschniakia himalaicaCorydalis cashmerianaPolemonium caerulium, Polygonum polystachyumImpatiens sulcataGeranium wallichianumGalium aparineMorina longifoliaInula grandifloraNomochoris oxypetalaAnemone rivularisPedicularis pectinata Primula denticulate, Aconitum heterophyllumArnebia benthamiiDactylorhiza hatagirea, Gymnadenia orchidesMegacarpaea polyandraPicrorhiza kurrooaPodophyllum haxandrum, Taxus wallichiana etc.

Dominant fauna

MammalsGrey langur, Flying squirrel, Himalayan black bear, Red fox, Himalayan weasel, Himalayan yellow-throated marten, Himalayan goral, Himalayan musk deer, Indian chevrotain, Himalayan thar, Serow, Bharal, Blue sheep, Common leopard, Brown bear, Snow leopard etc.

Birds – Himalayan vulture, Yellow billed and red billed choughs, koklass pheasant, Himalayan monal pheasant, Scaly-bellied and yellow-nape woodpeckers, Blue-throated barbets, Snow pigeon, Spotted dove etc.

Reptiles – Lizard, Himalayan ground skink, Himalayan pit viper etc.

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Best time to visit

The Valley of Flowers remains open from June to September. The rest of the year the valley gets covered by snow.

The best time of the year to visit the Valley of Flowers National Park is between the months of July to August.

Valley of flowers opens at 7.00 AM every day and last entry is allowed till 2.00 PM.

Fee

Indians – Rs. 150/- per person for 3 days (Rs. 50/- for every additional day)

Foreigners – Rs. 600/- per person for 3 days (Rs. 250/- for every additional day)

Professional video Camera fee (Indians) –Rs. 500/-

Professional video Camera fee (Foreigners) – Rs. 1500/-

Feature film charges (Indians) – Rs. 100000/-

Feature film charges (Foreigners) – Rs. 200000/-

How to Reach

By AirNearest airport is Dehradun airport, about 295 Km from the Valley of Flowers National Park. Dehradun airport is well connected by road network to Valley of Flowers National Park.

By Rail Nearest railway station is Rishikesh railway station, about 276 Km from the Valley of Flowers National Park. Rishikesh railway station is well connected by road network to Valley of Flowers National Park.

By Road Valley of Flowers National Park is well connected to Major Cities and Places by road network. There are a number of government and privately operated vehicles that go to Valley of Flowers National Park.

Accommodations

There are no facilities within the valley itself, and overnight camping is no longer permitted. Hotels and lodges can be found at Ghangaria.

Other National Parks in Uttarakhand. Name of National Parks, Year of Notification and Total Area is as follows……..
S. No. Name of National Park Year of Notification Total Area(km²)
1 Gangotri National Park Uttarakhand 1989 2390.02
2 Govind Pashu Vihar Uttarakhand 1990 472.08
3 Jim Corbett National Park Uttarakhand 1936 520.82
4 Nanda Devi National Park Uttarakhand 1982 624.6
5 Rajaji National Park Uttarakhand 1983 820.42

About Vijay Choudhary

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