It was declared a national park in 1982. The Valley of Flowers stretches over an expanse of 87.50 km². This part of Uttaranchal, in the upper reaches of Garhwal, is inaccessible through much of the year. The area lies on the Zanskar range of the Himalayas with the highest point in the national park being Gauri Parbat at 6,719 m above sea level.
Flowers mostly orchids, poppies, primulas, calendulas, daisies and anemones carpet the ground. Alpine forests of birch and rhododendron cover a part of the area, and are home to tahr, snow leopard, musk deer, red fox, common langur, bharal, serow, Himalayan black bear and a huge variety of butterflies.
There is no settlement in the national park and grazing in the area has been banned. The park is open only in summers between June and October, being covered by heavy snow during the rest of the year.
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