Nestled high in the west Himalayan region of the north Indian state of Uttarakhand, the Valley of Flowers National Park is remembered for the meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding scenic natural beauty. This beautiful high altitude Himalayan valley with a gentle landscape which is easily accessible was declared as a National Park in the year 1982.
Stretched over an 87.50 square kilometers expanse, it is splashed with color as it blooms with hundreds of different varieties of flowers including the celebrated Brahmakamal, the Blue Poppy and the Cobra Lily. It is also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of this diverse alpine flora representing the western Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows eco-region. A number of these plant species are internationally threatened, with a high diversity of medicinal plants than has been recorded in other Indian Himalayan protected areas.
Lying on the Zanskar Range of the Himalayas, these upper reaches of the Garhwal is inaccessible through much of the year. Gauri Parbat, at an altitude of 6,719 meters above sea level is the highest point in the Valley of Flowers National Park. The flora of this region is mostly made up of Orchids, Poppies, Primulas, Calendulas, Daisies and Anemones carpeting the ground. Birch and Rhododendron trees cover parts of these alpine forests coming under the Valley of Flowers National Park.
The Park is also home to a variety of fauna which includes the Himalayan Tahr, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Red Fox, Common Langur, Bharal, Serow, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Pika and a large variety of Butterflies. An important variety of avifauna sighted within the Park includes the Himalayan Golden Eagle, the Griffon Vulture, Snow Partridge, Himalayan Snowcock, Himalayan Monal, the Snow Pigeon and Sparrow Hawk.
Joshimath is the closest town conveniently connected through road with Haridwar and Dehradun, which happen to be the nearest Airport and Rail-Head at a distance of about 270 kilometers. A 17 kilometers trek, starting from Gobindghat near Joshimath to Ghangaria, which is a small settlement, is the only way to reach the Valley of Flowers National Park. Three kilometers from Ghangaria, the Valley of Flowers actually begins near a gorge over the Pushpawati River.