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Valley of flowers national park

valley of flowers national park

Valley of Flowers National Park generally closes for visitors on October Hopeful porters wait with their 'basket-chairs'. No wonder this chocolate box spot is an Indian National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site which makes it one of the most sought-after places. Valley of Flowers is a sprawling emerald meadow covering nearly 87 square kilometers and spangled with rare species of Alpine flowers. The valley falls.
valley of flowers national park

: Valley of flowers national park

Valley of flowers national park
valley of flowers national park


It&#;s always nice to hear a story about the place that started it all. Every blogger has a reason they started. Often it&#;s when you discover somewhere so beautiful that you want to shout about it to the world. The is what The Valley of Flowers National Park is to Jitaditya. I&#;ll let him explain.

Hiking to the Valley of Flowers in Northern India

&#;The Valley of Flowers National Park in the Valley of flowers national park state of Uttarakhand is one of the designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites of India. This near mythical site remains inaccessible for most parts of the winter. However, during the months of June, July, and August, the valley suddenly springs to life as the monsoon rains awaken the multi-colored sleeping beauties.  It does take a bit of work to reach the valley. You need to trek at least for a couple of days to reach the place although even the views en-route are worth the effort.

This was one of my first Himalayan treks many years ago and since then I have become a regular in the hills and this was also the primary reason to start my own travel blog.&#;

This post is a few years old now but still relevant and regularly updated with updated information. The The Valley of Flowers National Park looks like a real gem, just take a look at the pictures: Hiking to the Valley of Flowers National Park

Hiking to the Valley of Flowers in Northern India

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Inscription yearCountryIndia

Nanda Devi National Park is one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the Himalayas. It is dominated by the 7,m peak of Nanda Devi, India’s second highest mountain which is approached through the Rishi Ganga gorge, one of the deepest in the world. No humans live in the Park which has remained more or less intact because of its rugged inaccessibility. It has a very diverse flora and is the habitat of several endangered mammal: the snow leopard, serow, Himalayan musk deer and bharal.

The Valley of Flowers National Park nearby protects one of the most beautiful mountain wildernesses of the western Himalayas, celebrated for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers where more than Himalayan species grow in an area of less than 2, hectares. It is also the habitat of the snow leopard, Asiatic black bear, brown bear, Himalayan musk deer and bharal. Together, the parks preserve a transition zone between the eastern and western Himalayan flora, the Zanskar mountains and the Great Himalayas, long praised in Hindu mythology and for over a century by botanists and mountaineers.




Nanda Devi & Valley of Flowers National Park


Nanda Devi National Park inscribed on the World Heritage List under Natural Criteria vii and x.

Extended to include the Valley of Flowers National Park under the same criteria.


The UNESCO World Heritage Committee issued the following statement at the time of inscription:

Justification for Inscription

Criterion (vii): The Valley of Union savings bank mt washington is an outstandingly beautiful high-altitude Himalayan valley that has been acknowledged as such by renowned mountaineers and botanists in literature for over a century and in Hindu mythology for much longer. Its ‘gentle’ landscape, breath-takingly beautiful meadows of alpine flowers and ease of access complement the rugged, mountain wilderness for which the inner basin of Nanda Devi National Park is renowned.

Criterion (x): The Valley of Flowers is internationally important on account of its diverse alpine flora, representative of the West Himalaya biogeographic zone. The rich diversity of species reflects the valley’s location within a transition zone between the Zaskar and Great Himalaya ranges to the north and south, respectively, and between the Eastern and Western Himalaya flora. A number of plant species are internationally threatened, several have not been recorded from elsewhere in Uttaranchal and two have not been recorded in Nanda Devi National Park. The diversity of threatened species of medicinal plants is higher than has been recorded in other Indian Himalayan protected areas. The entire Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve lies within the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA). Seven restricted-range bird species are endemic to this part of the EBA.


Both Parks designated as core zones of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme (,ha).


Valley Of Flowers National Park:II National Park


Himalayan Highlands ()


Nanda Devi National Park lies in eastern Uttaranchal State, near the Tibetan border in the Garhwal (western) Himalaya, km northeast of Delhi. The main entrance to the Park is via Lata and Tolma villages, 25 km and 31 km east of Joshimath township. It leads through the almost inaccessible gorge of Rishi Ganga to a basin surrounded by high mountain ridges and peaks except to the west, lying between 30°16' to 30° 32'N and 79° 44' to 80° 02'E. The Valley of Flowers is in the Paspawati valley 23 km north-northwest of Nanda Devi Park, It lies between 30° 41' to 30° 48'N and 79° 33' to 79° 46'E.


The Paspawati valley was discovered by Col. Edmund Smyth;

The valley visited by the climber F. Smythe who wrote a book publicising valley of flowers national park “Valley of Flowers”;

The upper Nanda Devi basin was reached and described by mountaineers mynewextsetup.usn & who climbed Nanda Devi;

The basin established as the Nanda Devi Game Sanctuary by Government Order /XIV- 28 of 7/01;

Border disputes closed the area to traffic, altering the local economy;

The Sanctuary was opened to mountaineering but the ensuing degradation led to its closure to all users;

The Park was established as Sanjay Gandhi National Park by Notification / XIV ; grazing and mountaineering stopped;

The Valley of Flowers was declared a National Park by Government Order /XIV under the provisions of the Wildlife Protecton Act offor the conservation of its flora;

The Park was renamed Nanda Devi National Park;

The Nanda Devi National Biosphere Reserve established (, ha) with the National Park as core zone (62, ha) and aha buffer area surrounding both sites; restrictions were imposed on the rights of nearby villagers;

The Biosphere Reserve extended by the government toha and the Valley of Flowers National Valley of flowers national park was added as the second core zone (62, ha+ m zionsbank com, ha, totalling core areas of 71, ha;

The two core zones and buffer zone designated a UNESCO MAB Reserve.


Uttaranchal State in Chamoli District. Administered by the Uttaranchal State Forestry Department of the national Ministry of Environment and Forests.


The total area is 71, ha: Nanda Devi: 63, ha + Valley of Flowers: 8, ha. The Parks share aha buffer zone within the Open a checking account online chase bank Reserve which is not within the World Heritage site.


Nanda Devi: 1,m (lower Rishi Gorge), 2,m (the basin) - 7,m (Nanda Devi West).

Valley of Flowers: 3,m (valley floor) to 6,m (Gauri Parbat).


Nanda Devi:

The Park is in the catchment basin of the Rishi Ganga, an eastern tributary of the Dhauli Ganga which flows into a major tributary of the Ganges, the Alaknanda River, at Joshimath. The area is a vast glacial basin, divided by a series of parallel north-south oriented ridges. These rise to the encircling mountain rim formed by sixteen peaks above 6,m. The best known of these are Dunagiri (7,m) and Kalanka (6,m) to the north, Nanda Devi East (7,m) on the eastern rim, Nanda Khat (6,) in the southeast and Trisul (7,m) in the southwest. Nanda Devi West lies on a short ridge projecting from Nanda Devi East into the basin. It is India's second highest mountain. The upper Rishi Valley, known as the Inner Sanctuary, is fed by the Changbang, North Rishi and North Nanda Devi glaciers from the north and by the South Nanda Devi and South Rishi glaciers from the south. An impressive gorge cuts through the Devistan-Rishikot ridge below the confluence of the North and South Rishi rivers. The Trisuli and Ramani glaciers flow into the lower Rishi Valley or Outer Sanctuary, below which the Rishi Ganga enters the narrow, deep, steep-sided and virtually inaccessible lower gorge (Lavkumar, ).

The basin displays an array of periglacial and glacial forms which cover a wide range of phases of growth. The combinations of normal and perched glaciers on different rock types add to the interest of the basin (T. Reed, pers. comm., ). Most of the Park falls within the central crystallines, a zone of young granites and metamorphic rocks. Along the northern edge the Tibetan-Tethys is valley of flowers national park, consisting of sandstones, micaceous quartzite, limestones and shales (Kumar & Sah, ). The Tethys sediments form Nanda Devi itself and with many of the surrounding peaks, displays spectacular folding and evidence of thrust movements, valley of flowers national park other mountains like Changbang are granite (M. Searle, pers. comm.,1 ). The crystalline rocks of the Vaikrita Group and lower part of the Tethys sediments have been tentatively subdivided into four, the Lata, Ramani, Kharapatal and Martoli formations (Maruo, ). Further geological details are given by Lamba ().

The Valley of Flowers:

The Valley is 20 km northwest of Nanda Devi National Park across the wide valley of the Bhiundhar Ganga. It is one of two hanging valleys lying at the head of the Bhiundhar valley, the other being the shorter Hemkund valley which runs parallel some 10 km south. It runs east-west approximately 15 km by an average of 6 km wide, in the basin of the Paspawati river, a small tributary flowing from the Tipra glacier which descends from Gauri Parbat in the east. Its central valley, lying at about 3,m, is a gently inclined basin of some 1, hectares of alpine meadows, known as the Kundalinisen plateau, the forested slopes of which rise sharply through moraines to rocky ridges, perpetually snow-covered peaks and glaciers which together cover 73% of the valley. Alpine meadows cover 21% and forests 6% of the rest. The high surrounding mountains are not impassable and open to the south at Ghangrea (3,m), 7 km downstream. There, the Paspawati meets the Lakshman Ganga, becoming the Bhiundhar Ganga which flows 15 km to Govindghat at its confluence with the Alaknanda, a tributary of the Ganges. The main surrounding peaks are Nar Uib edd (5,m) to the northwest, Nilgiri Parbat (6,m) to the north, Rataban (6,m) across the Bhuindhar Pass, with Gauri Parbat (6,m) to the east and Saptasring (5,) to the south. The Lakshman Ganga flows from Lokpal lake (4,m) in the Hemkund valley, a much visited place of pilgrimage. The well exposed bedrock comprises crystallines of the Vaikrita group with sedimentary, mica schist and shale rocks. The soils are acidic and retain moisture well.


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. From mid April to June temperatures are moderate to cool (19°C maximum). 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 (Lavkumar, ; Lamba, ).


Nanda Devi:

Forests are restricted largely to the Rishi Gorge and are dominated by West Himalayan fir Abies pindrow and Rhododendron campanulatum with Himalayan birch Betula utilis up to about 3,m. Forming a broad belt between these and the alpine meadows is birch forest, with an understorey of rhododendron. Conditions are drier within the inner basin becoming almost xeric up the main glaciers. Beyond Ramani, the vegetation changes from forest to dry alpine communities, with scrub juniper Juniperus pseudosabina becoming the dominant cover. With altitude, junipers give way to grasses, prone mosses and lichens, and on riverine soils to annual herbs and dwarf willow Salix spp. Woody vegetation extends along the sides of the main glaciers before changing gradually to squat alpines and lichens (Lavkumar, ; Hajra, a).

A floristic analysis of the area based on the Nanda Devi Scientific and Ecological Expedition is given by Balodi (). A total of species, distributed over genera and 81 families, has been recorded and preserved in the herbarium of the Northern Circle Botanical Survey of India. At least 17 of these are considered rare (Hajra, a). Not in this list is Saussurea sudhanshui, newly described from the area (Hajra, b). Within the larger area of the Biosphere Reserve some species from genera and families were listed by the Nanda Devi Scientific and Ecological Expedition (Hajra & Balodi, ). 8 nationally threatened species recorded include Nardostachys grandiflora, Picroehiza kurrooa (VU), Cypripedium elegans, C. himalaicum, Dioscorea deltoidea (VU) and Allium stracheyi (VU). Local people use a total of 97 species, 17 for medicine, 55 as food plants, 15 as fodder, 16 for fuel, 5 for tools, 8 for house building, 2 as fibres, 6 for miscellaneous uses, and 11 for religious purposes.

The Valley of Flowers:

The valley has an unusually rich flora of over species with many rarities. It lies in a transitional area between the Great Himalaya and Zanskar Mountains, also between the eastern and western Himalayan phytographic regions, and has several ecological zones which contribute to the valley’s unusually rich flora. These comprise 25% of the vascular plants found in the Chamoli district though the valley is only % of its area. The valley has three main vegetation zones: sub-alpine between 3,m and 3,m which is the limit for trees, lower alpine between 3,m and 3,m, and higher alpine above 3,m. 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 Forest Research Institute in recorded species of angiosperms and 30 pteridophytes in the valley and surroundings, discovering 58 new records for the valley of which 4 were new for Himalayan Uttar Pradesh. Of these plants, 5 out of 6 species globally threatened are not found in Nanda Devi National Park or elsewhere in Uttaranchal: Aconitum falconeri, A. balfouri, Himalayan maple Acer caesium, the blue Himalayan poppy Mecanopsis aculeate and Saussurea atkinsoni (Green & Peard, ). 31 species are classified as nationally rare. The dominant family is the Asteraceae with 62 species. 45 medicinal plants are used by local villagers and several species, such as Saussurea obvallata (brahmakamal) are collected as religious offerings to Nanda Devi and other deities. The site is designated a Centre of Plant Diversity.

Characteristic of the sub-alpine zone are high altitude forests eastern bank plymouth ma help to retain moisture and snow and support a large number of floral and faunal communities. It is dominated by the uncommon Himalayan maple Acer caesium (VU), west Himalayan fir Abies pindrow, Himalayan white birch Betula utilis, and Rhododendron campanulatum with Himalayan yew Taxus wallichiana, Syringa emodi and Sorbus lanata. Some of the common herbs are Arisaema jacquemontii, Boschniakia himalaica, Corydalis cashmeriana, Polemonium caerulium, Polygonum polystachyum (a rampant tall weed), Impatiens sulcata, Geranium wallichianum, Helinia elliptica, Galium aparine, Morina longifolia, Inula grandiflora, Nomochoris oxypetala, Anemone rivularis, Pedicularis pectinata, P. bicornuta, Primula denticulate and Trillidium govanianum. In trampled areas where past livestock congregated, Himalayan knotweed Polygonum polystachium is a rampant weed.

The valley’s lower alpine zone has greater moisture and deeper soil. A large number of herbaceous communities grow in great profusion and it supports the greatest diversity of alpine plants. Characteristic of the zone are dwarf shrubs, cushion herbs, grasses and sedges. Common and singleseed junipers Juniperus communis and J. squamata, Rhododendron anthopogon, Salix spp., Lonicera myrtillus, Cotoneaster microphyllus, and Rubus ellipticus are the major shrub species in this zone. The herbaceous flora gives a spectacular multicoloured array of flowers during the growing season. Their growth cycle is very short, and they give way to other communities later in the season. The dominant herbs of this zone are Potentilla atrosanguinea, Geranium wallichianum, Fritillaria roylei, Impatiens sulcata, Polygonum polystachyum, Angelica archangelica, Selinum vaginatum. The common grasses of the zone are Danthonia cachemyriana, Calamogrostis emodensis, Agrostis pilosula and Trisetum spicatum; the main sedge species are Kobresia roylei and Carex nubigena.

The higher alpine zone is an area of pioneer species dispersed among moraines, boulders, and rocky slopes, dominated by scattered and stunted herbs with delicate flowers, mosses and lichens. The stable slopes on southern aspects typically have meadows of Kobresia sedge. On northern aspects and in sheltered areas are extensive shrubby patches of Rhododendron lepidotum, Cassiope fastigiata and Juniperus communis. The zone’s dominant species are Kobresia royleana, Trachydium roylei and Danthonia cachemyriana. There are also several colourful herbs like Saussurea simpsoniana, Potentilla argyrophylla, Geum elatum, Senecio spp., Bistorta affinis, Bergenia stracheyi and the flagship species blue Himalayan poppy Mecanopsis aculeata.


Nanda Devi:

An account of the 14 known species of mammals is given by Tak & Lamba () and Lamba (), 6 being nationally endangered. The basin is renowned for the abundance of its ungulate populations, notably bharal or blue sheep Pseudois nayaur, estimated to number in (Lavkumar,), in (Tak & Lamba,) but were sighted in (Shankaran). Preliminary surveys suggest that Himalayan musk deer Moschus leucogaster, Himalayan serow Capricornus thar and Himalayan tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus, are also common (Lavkumar,; Tak & Lamba,; Lamba,), but are probably not as plentiful as they used to be due to hunting (Dang,). However, numbers appear to have increased due to the closure of the Park to human activities since The Himalayan goral Nemorhedus goral does not seem to occur within the basin, although the species does occur near the Park (Tak & Lamba, ; Lamba, ). Snow leopard Panthera uncia (EN) is reported to have been "extraordinarily common" by Dang in This may reflect the relative ease with which the species is observed here and in the vicinity (Green, ) as it is very unlikely that the Park now supports a large snow leopard population because of its comparatively small size and the deep snow in winter (Green, ). Other large carnivores are Himalayan black bear Ursus thibetanus (VU) and brown bear Ursus arctos, the existence of which has yet to be confirmed, and common leopard Panthera pardus fusca. The only primate present is northern plains gray langur Semnopithecus entellus (Tak & Lamba, ; Lamba, ) although rhesus macaque Macaca mulatta has been sighted outside the Park boundaries. Some 83 animal species were reported from the area of the national Biosphere Reserve by the Indian National MAB Committee.

Shankaran recorded a total of species of birds in 30 families during the Nanda Devi Scientific and Ecological Expedition. Some 67 of these species were not recorded during earlier surveys. Abundant species recorded during May to June include gray-crested tit Parus dichrous yellow-bellied fantail Rhipidura hypoxantha, orange-flanked bush-robin Tarsiger cyanurus, blue-fronted redstart Phoenicurus frontalis, olive-backed pipit Anthus hodgsoni, rosy pipit A. roseatus, common rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus, and spotted nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes. Species richness was found to be highest in the temperate forests, with a significant decline in richness as elevation increased. Other expeditions for which highway service area near me lists are available include Reed () and Tak & Kumar (). Lamba () lists 80 species for the area but the distribution of some of these is restricted to lower altitudes in adjacent areas. Some species are reported from the Biosphere Reserve area by the Indian National MAB Committee.

There is a lack of systematic surveys on invertebrate fauna. Baindur recorded 28 species of butterfly from six families during May-Juneincluding common yellow swallowtail Papilo machaon, common blue apollo Parnassius hardwickei, dark clouded yellow Colias electo, Queen of Spain Issoria iathonia and Indian tortoiseshell Aglais cashmirensis.

The Valley of Flowers:

The density of wild animals in the Valley is not high but all the animals found are nationally rare or endangered. 13 species of mammals are recorded for the Park and its vicinity although only 9 species google store synchrony login been sighted valley of flowers national park northern plains gray langur Semnopithecus entellus, flying squirrel Petaurista petaurista, Himalayan black bear Ursus thibetanus (VU), red fox Vulpes vulpes, Himalayan weasel Mustela sibirica, and Himalayan yellow-throated marten Martes flavigula, Himalayan goral Naemorhedus goral, Himalayan musk deer Moschus leucogaster, Indian chevrotain Moschiola indica, Himalayan thar Hemitragus jemlahicus (VU) and serow Capricornis sumatraensis (VU). The tahr is common, the serow, goral, musk deer and bharal, blue sheep are rare. The common leopard Panthera pardus is reported from lower parts of the valley closer to the villages. Local people have also reported evidence of brown bear Ursus arctos and bharal or blue sheep Pseudois nayaur. A recent faunal survey in October has established the presence of snow leopard Panthera uncia (EN) in the National Park.

The area is within the West Himalayan Endemic Bird Area but there have been no surveys specific to the Valley. species were seen in in Nanda Devi Park. Species frequently seen in the valley include lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus, Himalayan vulture Gyps himalayensis, yellow billed and red billed choughs Pyrrhocorax graculus and P. pyrrhocorax, koklass pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha, the nationally listed Himalayan monal pheasant Lophophorus impejanus, found in rhododendron thickets, scaly-bellied and yellow-nape woodpeckers Picus squamatus and P. flavinucha, great and blue-throated barbets Megalaima virens and M. asiatica, snow pigeon Columba leuconota and spotted dove Stigmatopelia chinensis. The area is relatively poor in reptiles: most often seen are the high altitude lizard Agama tuberculata, Himalayan ground skink Leiolopisma himalayana and Himalayan pit viper Gloydius himalayanus. Along with the flowers are wild bees and many species of butterfly which need to be more researched. A few of the more evident species are lime butterfly Papilio demoleus demoleus, common yellow swallowtail Papilio machaon, common mormon Papilio polytes romulus, spangle Papilio protenor protenor and common blue apollo Parnassius hardwickei.


Nanda Devi:

The area is one of the most spectacular wildernesses in the Himalayas. The basin is dominated by the pyramidal peak of Nanda Devi, India's second highest mountain, and drained by the Rishi Ganga which has cut one of the finest gorges in the world (Shipton, ; Kaur, ). It supports a diverse flora, largely because of the wide altitudinal range, and a number of rare or threatened animals. Unlike many other Himalayan valleys, it is free from human settlement and owing to its inaccessibility has remained largely unspoilt, particularly the forests of the lower Rishi Valley. The Chipko campaign made the site a symbol of participatory conservation and ecotourism in India. With the Valley of Flowers it is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The Valley of Flowers:

The Valley is one of the two core zones of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve which protects one of the most spectacular mountain wildernesses of the western Himalayas, among which the Paspawati valley is celebrated for its flowers. More than species grow there in an area of less than 2, hectares. It is also the habitat of the endangered snow leopard, the serow and rare Himalayan musk deer. The whole area lies within a Conservation International-designated Conservation Hotspot, in a WWF Global Eco-region, is in a WWF/IUCN Centre of Plant Diversity and in one of the world’s Endemic Bird Areas.


Nanda Devi:

Nanda Devi, named after Devi (‘goddess’), consort of Shiva, is a manifestation of Parvati and has been revered since ancient times (Reinhard, ). Hindus have deified the entire basin and every twelfth year devotees make the Nanda Devi Raj Jat pilgrimage to the foot of Trisul to worship their patroness the 'Bliss-giving Goddess' Nanda Devi (Kaur, ). The local people are the Bhotiya, an ethnic Tibetan group who lived by trading with Tibet via the Niti valley until the war with China, by transhumant herding up and down the valley, and on resources from the forests.

The Valley of Flowers:

Seven kilometres south of the Park entrance, at Ghangrea, a track leads off to the Hemkund Sahib shrine sacred to Sikhs, and the Hindu temple to Lakshman, brother of Ram, beside Lake Lokpal. These have long been places of pilgrimage to both Sikhs and Hindus, and , pilgrims visit them every year. The valley itself was formerly used by migratory villagers for grazing two to three herds ofsheep and goats each and for local cows and buffaloes. In the valley was chanced on by Col. Edmund Smyth who praised the floral beauty of the region in various periodicals. This attracted Dr. T.G. Longstaff and A.L. Mumm to the Bhuyundar Valley in It was also found by the mountaineers F. Smythe and R. Holdsworth in while coming down from an expedition to Mt. Kamet. In Smythe revisited the valley and next year published The Valley of Flowers, bringing it to world attention. There is the tombstone of a botanist from Kew, Margrett Legge, who died here in


Nanda Devi:

The Park is uninhabited but the buffer zone is home to 19 communities, five in permanent and 14 transhumant settlements. The most prominent villages are Reni and Lata ( families), on the north-western side, and in the Niti valley there are eight other villages, totalling 2, residents in 17 of these are inhabited by the Indo-Mongoloid Bhotiya tribe who comprise marchhas (traders) and tolchhyas (farmers) who practise rain-fed subsistence farming, make products from wool, draw resources from the forest and, before the area was closed off, grazed 4, goats and sheep in the alpine pastures of Dharansi and Dibrugheta (Lavkumar, ). In proposed Forestry Department clear-cutting of the local trees in Reni prompted the famous Chipko (hug the trees) movement among the villagers led by Gauri Devi, which spread across the region, halting government efforts to harvest the trees. The marchhas, no longer traders with Tibet, turned to a living as porters and guides. When the National Park was created in it was closed to all users, denying the villagers this trade as well as use of their native resources, which caused hardship and much resentment.

When the Biosphere Reserve was created inrestrictions were extended to the buffer zone without prior consultation with the communities affected. Owing to their apprehensions about the Reserve there was a concerted protest from ten villages in the Niti valley in led by the villagers of Lata in the Jhapto Cheeno (swoop and grab) movement, against the Reserve management and the Forestry Department’s restrictions on mountaineering and grazing. In the Lata village council, set up the Nanda Devi Development Authority to convince the government to reconsider the ban on mountaineering so that the local community rather than outside interests might once again benefit from ecotourism. A trail has been created and the communities now receive a share in the trail management collected fees from visitors while they support fire prevention and anti poaching activities, and provide guides and tourist accommodation. They also offer home stays, which are becoming increasingly popular amongst visitors.

The Valley of Flowers:

The valley itself is uninhabited. The local people are mostly Bhotiya, non-tribal Rajput farmers and transhumant herdsmen, who winter their flocks at the area’s main permanent village of Pulna 12km south of the Park and 1,m lower in elevation. 5 km and 9 km south of the Park entrance are the seasonal villages of Ghangrea (at 3,m) and Bhiundhar (at 2,m), occupied in summer to serve the pilgrims and tourists (when some stalls line the pilgrim trail). The people of Bhiundhar who numbered about inmay no longer graze the valley and some families are still poor but others earn well from tourism and the pilgrimage and are very supportive of the Park (Srivastava, ). With support from the Forest Department, the local communities have formed Eco-Development Committees (EDCs). The EDCs at Bhyundhar and Govindghat provide support to the Park management and look after the waste disposal and management of visitor facilities along the trail outside the National Park. Over 70 tonnes of garbage was removed by these EDCs in the last two years alone.


Nanda Devi:

The trek to Nanda Devi base camp is considered to be one of the toughest in the world. When the Park was open between and it became the second most popular Himalayan destination after Everest, attracting large numbers of mountaineers and trekkers from all over the world (Lamba, ): in there were some 4, visitors, mostly expedition members and porters (Aitken, & ). The Park was then closed to both tourists and villagers because of the disturbance caused: 1, kilograms of tourist litter were later removed by the Indian team who made the 13th ascent of the mountain in The inner sanctuary remains a Strict Nature Reserve open only to scientific expeditions under permit. There is one three-room hut for their use. The Park was only reopened in for regulated tourism following the new ecotourism policy of the state of Uttaranchal. The trail up to Dibrugheta in the National Park was opened to a maximum of tourists per year in a program for ecotourism regulated by the Forest Department with active support from local communities. In the year over 2, tourists visited the Park and nearby eco-zone. In (to the end of November), tourists visited the Park and 1, tourists visited the eco-zone. Camping sites have been developed in several places and the villagers offer home stays, which are becoming increasingly popular amongst visitors. Further facilities for pilgrimage, cycling, camping, mountaineering courses and cultural tourism are planned. Joshimath, where there are hotels, is about km north of the railhead at Rishikesh, and km from Jolly Grant airport at Dehra Dun.

The Valley of Flowers:

The valley is very accessible and some of the many pilgrims to the nearby shrines travel on to see it. Where Nanda Devi Park is closely regulated for mountaineering and ecotourism, the Valley of Flowers is open to both. Should tourism and mountaineering come to pose a threat to the animals here, such activities in the Valley would be regulated too. The valley is very accessible and some of the many pilgrims to the nearby shrines travel on to see it. Inbetween 30 and 50 people visited the Park daily. Innearly 4, were recorded, 3, from India and from abroad. Visits occur between May and early October, on foot once within the Park and guided by youths from the village to see that the flowers are not trampled. There is a Forest Department post and interpretation centre at Ghangrea near the entrance, with brochures, books and posters and where entry fees are charged. For the last two years this has been managed by members of the EDC who present slide and film shows for visitors.

There are sign boards in the park and guided nature trails including a kilometer trek. Regulations for trekking are being prepared. No camping is allowed in the valley. But mountaineering is allowed subject to permit and regulation, on two peaks, Rataban and Ghauri Parbat. There are also trails out of the park to the southwest and through bear-infested forest and over glacial ice to the northeast. There are some 25 visitor resthouses, lodges and hotels at Ghangrea near the Park entrance and down the Bhiundhar at Govindghat on the Alaknanda, including a very large Sikh gurudwara. There are Forest Department guesthouses at both Ghangrea and Govindghat, and camping near Bhiundhar village. The site is about km north of the railhead at Rishikesh, and km from Dehra Dun airport.


Nanda Devi:

The first recorded attempt to enter the sacred basin was by inbut he was unable to get beyond the gorge of the lower Rishi Ganga. Subsequent attempts by Dr T. Longstaff in and H. Ruttledge inand also failed. Finally, inEric Shipton and H. W. Tilman pioneered a route to the ‘Inner Sanctuary’ by forcing a passage up the upper gorge of the Rishi Ganga. Later, inH. Tilman and N. Odell made the first ascent of Nanda Devi, reputed the outstanding climb of the pre-War era. Their accounts of this natural sanctuary first drew attention to this spectacular mountain wilderness (Tilman, ; Shipton, ) and led to its protection. A geological survey was conducted by Maruo in Among the first published observations on the wildlife of Nanda Devi are those of Dang (), Lavkumar (, ) and for birds, Reed (). Surveys of the flora and mammalian fauna were carried out by the Botanical Survey of India (Hajra, a) and Zoological Survey of India (Tak & Lamba,; Lamba, ), respectively. The Nanda Devi Scientific and Ecological Expedition conducted floral and faunal surveys and habitat assessments in Following the programme of decadal monitoring of the region, a combined team of the Forest Department, Wildlife Institute of India, G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Ecology & Development and Garhwal University conducted surveys in the region again in following indicator species such as the snow leopard, snow Apollo butterfly and blue poppy. This research will contribute to the management of the Park.

The Valley of Flowers:

The flora was surveyed and inventoried in by the Botanical Survey of India, in by the Forest Research Institute and in by the Wildlife Institute of India which found five species new to science. A research nursery and seed/rhizome/tuber bank for propagating rare plants and valuable medicinal herbs has been created at Musadhar near the entrance of the site. Rare and valuable medicinal how to convert my amazon account to business account are the subject of special programs. These include Aconitum heterophyllum, A. falconeri, Arnebia benthamii, Dactylorhiza hatagirea, Gymnadenia orchides, Megacarpaea polyandra, Picrorhiza kurrooa, Podophyllum haxandrum and Taxus wallichiana. Research plots have been set up to determine the best way to control the spread of the tall Himalayan knotweed Polygonum polystachium without damaging other plants or the surface of the soil. A first annual survey was conducted in and will be repeated annually


Nanda Devi:

The upper Rishi Ganga valleys (the Outer and Inner Sanctuaries) were long preserved by the difficulty of penetrating the lower Rishi gorge which remained unexplored until Hunting, the collection of medicinal plants and other forms of exploitation followed until the war with China closed the border. From to the region remained closed to foreign visitors. Traditionally, the alpine pastures around Dharansi and Dibrugheta were grazed by livestock from Lata, Tolma and Peng villages, and latterly from villages as far up the Niti valley as Malari. A spate of mountaineering and trekking followed the re-opening of the Reserve in but caused such disturbance to the environment, that, on scientific advice, trekking, expeditions and grazing were banned by authority of the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh (Aitken, & ). The ban covered grazing, hunting, harvesting herbs, wood-collection, mountaineering and trekking anywhere in the core area of the then projected Biosphere Reserve, including the whole National Park, Thus communities traditionally dependent on sheep rearing and local resources had to seek alternate pastures, change their vocations or emigrate. Over 25% left the valley (Silori, ).

A year management plan was prepared inrevised as a Landscape Plan in An Annual Plan of Operations based on it is submitted yearly for release of funding. Included in the plan were provisions for 3-day and day patrols of the site, payment of compensation for crops raided by cattle and other animals, recommendations on the tourism ban and ways to provide employment for local people. (Forest Dept., ). Nandi Devi was earmarked as valley of flowers national park of several protected areas for future inclusion under the Government of India's Project Snow Leopard (Ministry of Environment & Forests, ). The Pindari and Sundadhunga valleys at the southern edge of the Nanda Devi massif were recommended for designation as a sanctuary to protect their reportedly large and viable ungulate and pheasant populations (Rodgers & Panwar, ). Inwithout local consultation, a long-projected national Biosphere Reserve was created to protect the region’s biodiversity, with Nanda Devi National Park as the core area. Following the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Actrestrictions were imposed on grazing and other human activities throughout the Biosphere Reserve with adjacent buffer areas remaining dollarbank com for legitimate community needs. The condition of the flora and fauna greatly improved but the villagers’ crops and cattle began to suffer increased losses to wild animals for which compensation was hard to obtain. As a result more than 75% of the residents developed a very negative attitude towards the Reserve management (Silori, ).

The Jhapto Cheeno protest against the restrictions on grazing and mountaineering and against official indifference enlisted world-wide interest. Faced with state support for potential development of the basin by national and multinational interests, the villagers created the Nanda Devi Development Authority in Following this initiative, the Protected Area management began to promote local enterpreneurship and actively involve local communities which had previously been ignored, in conservation activities. These now receive a share in the trail management fees and help to prevent fires and poaching. By the Nanda Devi Scientific and Ecological Expedition concluded that wildlife numbers were increasing and the ecosystem of the Park showed signs of recovery since its closure. This recovery and continued improvement in the biodiversity of the Park was re-confirmed in the decadal monitoring of the Park in carried out by the scientists of the Wildlife Institute of India, the Pant Institute of Himalayan Ecology & Development and Garhwal University. The demand to lift the restrictions on mountaineering is still raised occasionally, both by mountaineers for whom this region remains the final frontier and by villagers who see a potential for well paid employment as porters and guides.

With support from the MAB programme initiatives of the Indian government and the latest ecotourism policy of the newly created state of Uttaranchal, regulated tourism has been allowed. Community-based tourism plans for the villages around the Park (Lata, Tolma, Peng and Reni) have been prepared. Under these plans, capacity-building, the training and registration of local youths as guides, the creation of home stays for visitors, the establishment of local tour operator groups for eco- and cultural tours, the development of handicrafts and medical plant cultivation and the direct involvement of Women's Welfare Groups have all been introduced. As a result of these initiatives, over 2, tourists visited the Park and nearby eco-zone in Eco-Development Committees have been established in all the villages and PRA- (Participatory Rule Appraisal) based micro-plans have been prepared by them, supported with funds from various sources. This success was recognised in by an Ecotourism award, and by the presence of two local women at the Global Women’s Conference on Environment at Nairobi.

The Valley of Flowers:

The Park is a natural laboratory for the conservation and study of the western Himalayan flora. When it became a National Park in livestock grazing ceased and restrictions were imposed on nearby villagers. However, the Park’s staff have begun to train them by building up their capacity as wardens and plantsmen, trekking and mountaineering guides. As wardens they are trained in implementing regulations and handling offenders, in the use of instruments and fire arms, in high altitude survival strategies and resolving conflicts with wild animals and intruding hunters; as plantsmen they are trained in plant identification, field biodiversity monitoring, identifying and restoring rare plants and rehabilitating their habitats. All are provided with better facilities and equipment. The nursery at the entrance of the site is researching ways to mitigate the pressure on rare and valuable plants and in cooperation with the Eco-Development Committee of Bhiundhar villagers have been encouraged to grow them on. The EDCs also clear the waste and manage visitor facilities along the trail outside the National Park. In in cooperation with the villagers’ Eco-Development Committee and Forest Committee of Bhiundhar the Forestry Department oversaw the clearing of 50 tons of litter and removed temporary stalls from the pilgrim trail from Govindhar to Hekmund. The Committee is also spreading awareness of the need to suppress the rampant Himalayan knotweed.

Management is done within the plan for Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve which is implemented annually in consultation with local, district and state bodies but does not manage the parks directly. A new ten-year management plan for the Valley of Flowers Park is due for completion in based on the following objectives:

  • The protection, in-situ and ex-situ conservation and monitoring of the flora and fauna;

  • Restoration of and research into the flora and fauna;

  • Management of the habitats of the park for endangered flora and fauna

  • Development, upkeep and litter-clearing of trek routes and basic facilities for park visitors with active support and participation of the local communities.

  • Education of local people about the biodiversity and protection of the park;

  • Generating opportunities in the local community for sustainable livelihoods and building their capacity for responsible ecotourism.

  • Key indicators for monitoring the state of conservation in the park are.

  • The status of rare and endangered flora such as the populations of Saussurea obvallata, Meconopsis aculeata, Cypripedium cordigerum, Dactlyorhiza hatagirea, Aconitum spp. in permanent plots;

  • The assessment of cover at past camps and trails by invaders like Himalayan knotweed Polygonum polystachyum, Rumex nepalensis, Impatiens sulcata and Osmunda claytoniana;

  • Signs of threats to the wild flora and fauna from illegal herb collection and poaching;

  • Regeneration of birch and fir in landslide areas below m.


Nanda Devi:

Hundreds of tons of litter, felling of trees and even cultural vandalism created by expeditions, along with the introduction of sheep and goats to the inner basin, reached serious proportions before the closure of the Park (Clarke, ; Aitken, & ). However, byafter ten years of closure, the wildlife had recovered and increased in numbers to the point where there is crop raiding by bears, boars and cattle, and predation on the latter. Regular patrolling inside the Park during winters is very challenging. The two access routes into the inner basin are difficult to maintain because of the terrain and heavy snow fall, and manning the newly created checkpost at Lata Kharak throughout the year is also a challenge. Although their participation in ecotourism has been secured, their training for the work needs continued development. The number of staff has gone mortgage questions login page but is still inadequate. A few of the wildlife staff have been trained at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, but they lack the necessary support for mountaineering equipment to patrol the higher reaches of the Park year-round.

The Valley of Flowers:

The main management issues are control of invasive knotweed within the Valley, and, on the way to it, tourist and pilgrim litter. Some 1, ha of meadow are infested with the tall fast growing Himalayan knotweed which controls erosion but crowds out and smothers the subalpine flora. Its increase where livestock used to congregate is related to the prohibition of grazing. While livestock overgraze and over-enrich the soil, they may enhance floral diversity by limiting the growth of taller more vigorous plants. Its eradication and regular monitoring is expected to be a major expense (Srivastava, ). The litter piles up by the tonne from the thousands of tourists that visit the shrines:plastic bottles a year and kg of human and mule dung per day. The local people have now combined to clear this. A past threat to the forests surrounding the pilgrim route was the destruction of trees for firewood but this is now forbidden. There is no pollution and little danger from avalanches except on the approach road from Govindghat. There is, nevertheless, a constant threat from local poachers, especially to the snow leopard, and to ungulates when they come down to the valleys in winter; also from local indifference to wildlife conservation. This is aggravated by lack of adequate funding for the training needed for high altitude monitoring.


The Valley is similar to Nanda Devi National Park, but has many more and more northerly plant species and is much more accessible. Entering the other Park requires time and mountaineering skills; it remains a wilderness rightly protected as a Strict Nature Reserve. At present there is only one World Heritage site in the mountains between Assam and northern Pakistan - the far larger mountainous Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal, but there are such large differences in scale and terrain as to make close comparison unrealistic. There may be comparable valley sites in the nearer Himalayas which remain largely unknown due to the difficulty of access and the strategic sensitivity of the region. There are 17 protected areas in the west Himalaya, covering % of the biotic province. There are certainly some alpine valleys such as Ralam, Pindari, Sunderdhunga, Khatling and Harkidoon, which may originally have been comparable in number of plant species but all have been degraded by overgrazing and medicinal plant collection. Three adjacent valleys of Khiron, Khakbusandi and Bedini-Ali have much less diversity. Nearby protected areas in Uttaranchal which include valleys are Gangotri and Govind National Parks, Kendarnath, Ascot and Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuaries and, in Himachal Pradesh, Sangla Wildlife Sanctuary. But none has a comparable floristic richness, and in so compact an area. The valley’s species of plants comprise 25% of the vascular plants found in the Chamoli district though it is only % of its area. The valley is also celebrated in literature, both Indian and English, for its beauty, its flowers and the associated religious sites.


Nanda Devi:

In a staff of 89 was deployed: one Director/Conservator of Forests, one Deputy Conservator of Forests, one Sub divisional Forest Officer, two Range Officers, two Deputy Range Officers, five Asst. Wildlife Wardens, six foresters, 22 Wildlife Guards, 17 Forest Guards and 21 part-time watchers. Out of these, 22 field staff have been deployed at the Park from the Biosphere Reserve establishment.

Valley of Flowers:

One Divisional Forest Officer, one Range Officer, 2 Foresters, 4 wildlife guards, 2 buffer forest guards. Training includes elusive animal census techniques and in the properties of medicinal plants.


Nanda Devi:

Approximately Rs20 lakhs (Rs20,/US\$44,) in US\$75, from the budget for Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is given to the Park.

The Valley of Flowers:

This comes from the national Ministry of Environment and Forests. An annual average expenditure of Rs lakhs (Rs1, / US\$39,) was recommended over a ten year period from (Srivastava, ).Rs2, (US\$45, from the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve budget is allocated to the Park.


Director, Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Ghingran Road, Gopeswar, Chamoli, Uttaranchal, India.

Deputy Conservator of Forests, Nanda Devi National Park, Joshimath, Chamoli Uttaranchal. India.


The main sources for the above information were the original nominations for World Heritage status.

Aitken, W. (). The sad saga of Nanda Devi. Indian Wildlife, 1(4):Delhi.

(). Nanda Devi Sanctuary revisited. The Himalayan Journal

Aitken, B. (). Nanda Devi revisited - Sanctuary, Asia 3(1):

Baindur, A. (). The butterflies of Nanda Devi. In Scientific full body workout at home without equipment for men Ecological Expedition Nanda Devi, 2nd May to 22nd July . Army Corps of Engineers; W.I.I.; Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology & Natural History, WWF-India, Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, Botanical Survey of India, Delhi.

Balodi, B. () Expedition to Nanda Devi: Floristic Analysis. In Scientific and Ecological Expedition Nanda Devi, 2nd May to 22nd July . Army Corps of Engineers, Delhi.

Bosak, K. (). Pursuing Environmental Justice through Community Based Ecotourism: The case of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Presentation at the th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.

Clarke, M. (). Ecological impacts on the Nanda Devi area. The American Alpine Journal

Dang, H. (). A natural sanctuary in the Himalaya: Nanda Devi and the Rishiganga basin. Journal of the Bombay Natural Valley of flowers national park Society

(). The snow leopard and its prey. Cheetal, Journal of the Wildlife Preservation Society of India, Dehra Dun

Forest Department Uttaranchal. (). India. Nanda Devi National Park. Summary of the Periodic Report on the State of Conservation of the World Heritage Properties in the Asia-Pacific Region to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, Paris.

Green, M. (). Status, distribution and conservation of the snow leopard in North India. International Pedigree Book of Snow Leopards 3:

(). Protected areas and snow leopards: their distribution and status. In Freeman, H. (ed.), Proceedings of the Fifth International Snow Leopard Symposium. International Snow Leopard Trust, Seattle, & Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun. Pp.

Guha, R. (). The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalaya. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, U.S.A.

Green, M. & Peard, G. (). World Heritage Nomination IUCN Summary: Valley of Flowers National Park (India). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Hajra, P. (a). A contribution to the Botany of Nanda Devi National Park in Uttar Pradesh, India. Botanical Survey of India, Howrah. 38 pp.

(b). A new species of Saussurea (Asteraceae) from Nandadevi National Park, Chamoli District, Uttar Pradesh. Indian Forester

Hajra, P. & Balodi, B. (). Plant Wealth of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Flora of India Series No Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata. Pp.

Indian National MAB Committee (n.d.). The Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Project Document 3. Department of Environment, New Delhi. pp. the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. OctoberJoshimath, Organized by Gram Sabha, Lata, Uttaranchal.

IUCN (). World Heritage Nomination – Technical Evaluation Valley of Flowers National Park (India). IUCN, Switzerland.

(). The Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN, Cambridge,U.K.

Kala, C., Rawat, G. & Uniyal, V. (). Ecology and Conservation of the Valley of Flowers National Park, Garwhal Himalaya. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun.

Kandari, O. (). Nanda Devi, India's highest Himalayan national park: the problem of resource use and conservation. Cheetal, Journal of the Wildlife Preservation Soc’y of India, Dehra Dun

Kaur, J. (). Nanda Devi, Himalaya's superlative nature phenomenon. In Singh, T., Kaur, J. & Singh, D. (eds), Studies in Tourism, Wildlife Parks, Tourism. Metropolitan, New Delhi. pp.

Kumar, G. & Sah, S. (). Effects of changing environment on fauna and flora of Himalayan national parks - Case studies of Corbett & Nanda Devi national parks In:Corbett National Park Golden Jubilee Souvenir. Pp

Lamba, B. (). Status survey report of fauna: Nanda Devi National Park. Records of the Zoological Survey of India Occasional Paper No. 50 pp.

Lavkumar, K. ().Report on the Preliminary Survey of the Nanda Devi Basin. WWF-India,Bombay. (Unpublished). 27 pp.

(). Nanda Devi Sanctuary Journal of the Bombay Natural History Soc.

(). Nanda Devi Sanctuary-a naturalist's report.The Himalayan Journal

Maruo, Y. (). Geology and metamorphism of the Nanda Devi region, Kumaon, Higher Himalaya, India. Himalayan Geology, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun 9:

Ministry of Environment and Forests (). The Valley of Flowers National Park Uttaranchal (India) Proposal for World Heritage Site Inscription. Government of India, Delhi. [Contains a bibliography of 45 references]

Rawat, R. (). The Nanda Devi Campaign.

Reed, T. (). A contribution to the ornithology of the Rishi Ganga Valley and the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society

Reinhard, J. () The sacred Himalaya. The American Alpine Journal

Samant, S. (). Diversity and Status of Plants in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. In: Scientific and Ecological Expedition Nanda Devi 2nd May to 22nd July . Army Corps of Engineers, Delhi.

Semwal, D. & Asthana, J. (). Preliminary Management Plan Report of Nanda Devi National Park. Nanda Devi National Park, Joshimath. (mimeo).

Shankaran, R. (). An ornithological survey of Nanda Devi National Park. In Scientific and Ecological Expedition Nanda Devi 2nd May to 22nd July . Army Corps of Engineers, Delhi.

Shipton, E. (). Nanda Devi. Hodder and Stoughton, London. pp.

Silori, C. (). Biosphere reserve management in theory and practice: Case of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, western Himalaya, India. Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, 4 (3)

Smythe, F. (). The Valley of Flowers. Norton, New York.

Srivastava, S. (). Management Plan for Valley of Flowers National Park. Wildlife Preservation Organisation, Uttar Pradesh.

Tak, P. & Kumar, G. (). Wildlife of Nanda Devi National Park: an update. Indian Journal of Forestry

Tak, P. & Lamba, B. (). Field observations on abundance of some smaller mammals at Nanda Devi National Park. Indian Journal of Forestry. 7:

(). Nanda Devi National Park: a contribution to its mammalogy. Indian Journal of Forestry 8:

Tilman, H. (). Nanda Devi and the sources of the Ganges. Himalayan Journal 7:

(). The Ascent of Nanda Devi. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. pp.

Weber, T. (). Hugging the Trees: the Story of the Chipko Movement. Viking, New Delhi.


Nanda Devi: December Updated, May

Valley of Flowers: AprilUpdated 7-May


Valley of Flowers National Park: The Complete Guide

The stunning landscape of the Valley of Flowers National Park in India's northern state of Uttarakhand, bordered by Nepal and Tibet, comes alive with the monsoon rains. This high-altitude Himalayan valley contains approximately different varieties of alpine flowers, which appear as a bright carpet of color against a mountainous snow-capped backdrop. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is spread over 87 square kilometers (55 miles) and is located about kilometers ( miles) from New Delhi. It borders Nanda Devi National Park and has an altitude that ranges from 10, feet to 21, feet above sea level. The main valley in this national park consists of a 5-kilometer (3-mile) glacial corridor, a final destination for visitors embarking on the kilometer (mile) Valley of Flowers Trek from Govindghat. Along this route, you can see cascading waterfalls, mountain streams, and rare wildlife. Other treks exist in and around the park, as well, taking you across glaciers and over pristine terraced meadows.

Things to Do

The Valley of Flowers is only open for visitors from the beginning of June until the beginning of October, as it's covered in snow and inaccessible the rest of the year. The best time to visit is from mid-July to mid-August, when wildflowers like orchids, poppies, primulas, marigolds, daisies, and anemones blanket the landscape after the first monsoon rain. The only way to access this spectacle is on foot via a 7-kilometer (4-mile) round-trip trek from the village of Govindghat.

In addition to the famous Valley of Flowers trek, many other hikes and nature walks can also be tackled in this region. Some can be accessed even during the off-season, as efforts have been made to extend visitation numbers to the area. Most hikes are somewhat strenuous, but you can hire a porter to act as both a guide and a helper to carry your load.

Wildlife photographers flock to this region of the globe, as it's one of the most special ecological biospheres on our planet. This park is home to rare and endangered species of animals, like the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. Embarking on a nature hike, especially if you go with a guide, can offer some once-in-a-lifetime spottings, as well as a great opportunity to take photos.

A visit to this park is not complete without a stop-off at neighboring Nanda Devi National Park, as the mountain peak of Nanda Devi (at 7, meters, or 25, feet, above elevation) provides an unbelievable backdrop to the Valley of Flowers. Ride the ropeway (aerial tram) from the city of Joshimath to the hill station and ski resort of Auli, taking you by some of the highest mountaintops in the world.

Best Hikes & Trails

Most people visit the Valley of Flowers National Park to complete the famed Valley of Flowers Captain america motorcycle from Govindghat to Ghangaria and to see the wildflowers in full bloom. More recently, several other trekking routes have opened up in and around the park, as well, in an effort to attract tourists to the high mountain villages.

  • Valley of Flowers Trek: The kilometer (mile) Valley of Flowers trek begins at Govindghat and ends at the remote village of Ghangaria. It starts out as an easy jaunt on a moderate grade, and then becomes more strenuous as you gain almost 6, feet in elevation. Exotic flowers and foliage can be found all along the route from Ghangria to the main valley. Visitors concerned about their fitness level can hire a porter at Govindghat to carry their pack, or ride a mule.
  • Kunth Khal Trek: Considered the original trekking route of the Valley of Flowers, this kilometer (9-mile) route starts at Kunthkhal (in the Valley of Flowers) and ends at Hanuman Chatti. This advanced trekking route takes you by glaciers, gorges, waterfalls, and rivers, and should only be attempted by seasoned climbers. A fixed rope is required to navigate the last rock ledge on this trail.
  • Lata Village to Dibrugheta: This kilometer (mile) trek takes you through terraced fields and open, grassy meadows full of rare wildflower species. Along this route, you may also spot musk deer in the summer.
  • Chenab Valley Trek: The kilometer (mile) trek through the Chenab Valley is a memorable nine-day adventure. Walking through theGarhwal Range of the Himalayas and passing by Chenab Lake, at a height of 13, feet above sea level, this route navigates easy slopes suitable for beginners. Along the way, you'll encounter wildflowers, like primulas, orchids, poppies, marigolds, anemones, and daisies, before reaching your final destination of Dhar Kharak.

Valley of Flowers Tours

Many reputable tour companies offer guided multi-day visits to the Valley of Flowers National Park. Most tours include transportation from village to village, accommodations, and food. Blue Poppy Holidays runs premium fixed-departure tours that start at Haridwar. The tours are priced higher than other companies, but this company operates its own tented camp at Ghangaria and cottage stays at Auli to accommodate guests. Valley of Flowers Trekking Tours offers options for visitors who want to trek, camp, or take a helicopter tour of the Valley of Flowers National Park. And the popular adventure company Thrillophilia offers guided treks, complete with hotel stays, guides, cooks, helpers, and porters.

Where to Camp

Backcountry camping is not permitted anywhere inside the national park. Most people use homestay accommodations along their trek, though you can reserve a tent stay at Blue Poopy Holiday's tented camp in Ghangaria. Each tent offers a double bed, electricity, a flush toilet, and a sink, but no running water. Water needs to be hauled in by bucket. The on-site mess tent serves local, organic dishes, and the surrounding mountain scenery provides a stunning backdrop for your night in the mountains.

Where to Stay Nearby

Spend the night in a cottage or homestay in Joshimath or Govindghat, before starting the trek to Ghangaria. Homestays provide a family-style bed-and-breakfast feel, often similar to the comfort of a nice hotel. Accommodations are more plentiful and of a higher standard in Joshimath.

  • Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN) Guest Houses: Government-run cottages are available in the villages of Ghangaria and Auli, offering a reliable budget option for visitors to the Valley of Flowers. Most cottages include air conditioning, on-site meals, and free Wi-Fi. Advance bookings are recommended.
  • Himalayan Abode: A stay at the Himalayan Adobe in Joshimath offers visitors the full Himalayan experience, complete with customs, tradition, and architecture. Here, you can stay in a well-furnished room with an attached kitchen, a bathroom, and an amazing mountain view. A restaurant is available on-site, and the host is an experienced mountaineer who can dial you in on the region.
  • Nanda Inn: The Nanda Inn Homestays in Joshimath and Auli offer clean rooms with attached baths with hot water, bountiful gardens, and balconies overlooking the mountains and forest. Choose from a mountain or jungle view room, a suite, or an Ashram-type room. Yoga and massage are available on-site, as well as vegetarian room first bankcard best western login How to Get There

    The nearest airport to the Valley of Flowers National Park is the Jolly Grant Airport located in Dehradun ( miles away), with connecting flights arriving from New Delhi. From here, you can hire a taxi or rent a car and make the hour journey to Joshimath. Most treks begin at Pulna village, near Govindghat, which is another hour up the road and the last accessible village by car.

    Travel Tips

    • The villages of Govindghat and Ghangaria are quite crowded from July to September with Sikh pilgrims on their way to Hem Kund (a high-altitude Sikh shrine). Book accommodations in advance, if you choose to travel during this season.
    • Access to the Valley of Flowers is restricted to daylight hours (from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and the last entry into the park is at 2 p.m. Plan accordingly, as you’ll need to go from, and return to, Ghangaria on the same day.
    • There are very few toilets along the trekking route and none in the valley. Be prepared to relieve yourself in nature.
    • Restaurants serving basic Indian food can be found on the route to Ghangaria. You'll also find shops on the way from Ghangaria to Hem Kund, and free food at the shrine. However, you'll need to carry your own food from Ghangaria to the Valley of Flowers.
    • Most cellular network coverage disappears after leaving Govindghat.
    • A forest department checkpoint is located less than a kilometer from Ghangaria, marking the official beginning of the Valley of Flowers. This is where you pay your entrance fee—which is more expensive for tourists than it is for Indian nationals—and obtain your permit. Make sure to carry appropriate identification.
    • Expect to pay upward of 1, rupees for a porter or valley of flowers national park mule (depending on demand) to trek with you to Ghangaria. A guide will cost about 2, rupees. Travel by helicopter one way from Govindghat to Ghangaria costs about 3, rupees per person.
    • Make sure you bring plenty of clothes in case you get rained on (which is likely). Cheap plastic raincoats are available for purchase at Govindghat. Other useful items include a flashlight, headlamp, sunscreen, sunhat, water bottles, first-aid kit, toiletries, a small towel, and plastic bags to protect your electronics from the rain. Ideally, make sure your hiking shoes, backpack, and day pack are all waterproof.
    • If you visit before July, most flowers have yet to bloom, however, you can watch the snow recede and the melting glaciers. By mid-August, the color of the valley changes dramatically from green to yellow, and the flowers slowly die. In September, the weather becomes clear, with less rain, but the flowers dry up, as autumn makes its return.
    • The holy Hindu town of Badrinath is only 14 kilometers (almost 9 miles) from Joshimath and can easily be visited on a side trip. Here, you can see a colorful temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, a site included in the Hindu religion's Char Dham (four temples).

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Valley of Flowers

Valley of Flowers is a kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Joshimath, Uttarakhand, India that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

Length kmElevation gain2, mRoute typeOut & back

BackpackingCampingHikingSnowshoeingWalkingBird watchingPartially pavedRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeMuddy


As the name suggests Valley of Flowers is a valley full of flowers. These flowers are not planted by anyone but grow over here in the wild by themselves. There are about flowering plants and in total species of plants are found here. The whole valley fills up with these different flowering species and oh boy! That is some view. The whole valley sparkles with many colors from bright reds, yellows, whites, oranges, etc., In the backdrop is the beautiful view of the upper Himalayan with green meadows and flowery valleys it is just a sight to behold. Many indigenous endangered species of animals are also found here such as the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. Many high altitude birds are also found here like Himalayan monal pheasant. With picturesque surroundings, and so much to explore in terms of wildlife and ecology this place is straight up amazing. As it is in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve it is also one of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Visit the this place to experience something heavenly on Earth.

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Traveldiaries Vacations

Hyderabad, Telangana
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Toronto, Ontario
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Cumming, Georgia
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Hyderabad, Telangana
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Mill Valley, California
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Joshimath, Uttarakhand
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Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
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Bangalore, Karnataka
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Valley of Flowers National Park description and photos - India: Uttarakhand (Topic)

Valley of Flowers National Park description and photos - India: Uttarakhand. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The name in English is Valley of Flowers National Park.

Photo and description

Located in the western part of the Himalayas, in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, the world famous alpine Valley of Flowers is a truly fabulous place, the beauty of which is breathtaking. Inthis area acquired the status of a National Park. It is rather small in area - about 87 square kilometers, but about plant species grow here, among which there are many unique ones that are not found anywhere else, such as blue poppy and cobra lily. This area is also home to rare animals such as the Asiatic black bear, blue sheep and snow leopard. The main feature of the valley is that it is almost always covered with flowering plants of various colors and shades, which makes it attractive to visit all year round. But it is still best to come to this park in June-September, as the rest of the time the land can be hidden under the snow.

The Valley of Flowers became the birthplace of many legends and traditions, has long been famous for its medicinal herbs, therefore it was considered sacred. But until it was practically unexplored due to its inaccessibility. And today, numerous groups of botanists city of edmond online bill pay biologists come there to study the unique flora and fauna of this region.

There are no buildings and buildings on the territory of the Valley of Flowers, and the nearest cities are Joshimath and Garhwal, from which you can get to the park only reachable on foot.

Together with the nearby Nanda Devi National Park, the Valley of Flowers forms the World Biosphere Reserve, and since is under the protection of UNESCO. Therefore, you must first obtain a permit to visit the park.

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Topic: Valley of Flowers National Park description and photos - India: Uttarakhand.Valley of Flowers National Park description and photos - India: Uttarakhand

Author: Kelly Costine

The opportunity to view a spectacular wildflower show is a big draw to Death Valley. About once a decade the park can experience carpets of wildflowers known as a superbloom, which is a very rare but amazing sight! Even on normal bloom years, early spring months can bring smaller pockets of flowers to the desert floor, and later to the mid- and high-elevations.

Learn more about this year's wildflower predictions, what makes a superbloom, and when different elevations are likely to bloom on the Wildflower Seasons page.

a field of yellow daisy like flowers

Desert Gold

Geraea canescens
This is a slender daisy-like flower with 1/ inch long yellow ray flowers ("petals"), growing farmers state bank cedar rapids to one foot in height. Leaves grow only at the base, and are dissected wtih pointed lobes. It favors flats, slopes, and alluvial fans below 5,' in creosote brush scrub and joshua tree woodlands habitats.

a close up of a yellow daisy like flower

Desert Marigold

Baileya multiradiata
The desert marigold is a 8 to 20 inch tall perennial with white, wooly stems that branch from a taproot. The flowers are about 1 inch diameter heads with numerous yellow, hairy disk flowers, and bright yellow ray flowers ("petals") arranged in rows. They flower beginning in April and sometimes into July, growing around the Towne Pass area from 2, to 5,'.

large four petaled white flowers

Eureka Dunes Evening Primrose

Oenothera californica ssp. eurekensis

This rare, and federally endangered, perennial flower is found on the Eureka Valley sand dunes in the northern area of Death Valley National Park. Up to two feet tall, with a well anchored root system, and the ability to resprout from stem tips buried in the sand this plant is well adapted to life on the dunes. It flowers April through June, growing large white flowers with four 1 inch long petals. Finding a Eureka Dunes Evening Primrose is a truly special and unique Death Valley experience.

flusters of pea shaped purplish flowers and a large black bee

Grape Soda Lupine

Lupinus excubitus
This handsome lupine species grows up to three feet high and has alternate, palmately divided leaves that take on a silvery color due to dense, flattened hairs on their surface. It flowers in the spring from April until June, with blue-violet flowers in branched clusters. It can be found in rocky soils from 3, to 7, feet and is common on the western slope of the Panamint range.

very small white daisy flowers

Desert Star

Monoptilon bellioides
The desert star is a small annual that reaches only 6 inches tall. It is covered with stubbly hairs, has linear half inch long leaves, and flower heads composed of numerous yellow disk flowers and white ray flowers. This flower is common on sandy and gravelly flats and washes below 3, feet in creosote bush scrub.

red clusters of flowers in mountain scenery

Wavyleaf Desert Paintbrush

Castilleja applegatei
Common in the Telescope peak area, The Wavyleaf Desert Paintbrush is easily recognized during the spring bloom by its bright red paintbrush shaped flowers. It is a short perennial with sticky, wavy edged leaves and grows at upper elevations.

a three petaled orange flower with dark center

Mariposa lily

Calochortus kennedyi
The Mariposa lily is a 4 to 8 inch tall perennial, with up to 8 inch long linear leaves that remain coiled on the ground before the flowering stalk appears. Each plant produces 1 or 2 open, bell-shaped, vermillion flowers with three inch-long petals with purplish spots and round fringed glands at the base. You can find these beautiful flowers between 2, and 6, feet in creosote bush scrub, Joshua tree woodland, and pinyon-juniper woodland between shrubs in rocky soil.

a green stem with a bulb and tiny yellow flowers

Desert Trumpet

Eriogonum inflatum
This unique perennial flower has stout, bluish green stems that form inflated, hollow, bulbs at the node. The stems above this inflated node have a forked branching pattern characteristic of the buckwheat family. These stems are capped with a tiny yellow flower cluster that blooms in the spring, from March to July. These are very common on gravely washes and flats below 6, feet. A variation of this plant exists in Death Valley that lacks the inflated stem, known by the scientific name of Eriogonum contiguum.



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