The upper Bhyundar Valley of Uttarakhand was brought into the limelight by Frank Smythe, a member of the successful Kamet mountain British Expedition of 1931, who gave it the name "The Valley of Flowers". Both the Valley of Fowers and Nanda Devi National Park were visited by IUCN. In April 2004, the Valley of Flowers Park was proposed to be included in the list of World Heritage sites as an extension of the Nanda Devi National Park.
This book is the outcome of long studies in the Valley in an attempt to compile the existing literature. It has been brought out as a ‘user-friendly companion’ for naturalists, tourists, foresters and trekkers to the Valley of Fowers. Though there are many meadows and high-altitude National Parks in Uttarakhand. none is ﬂoristically comparable to the Valley of Flowers in terms of ﬂoral diversity. A popular belief is that this valley is known in Hindu myth as ‘Nandan Kanan’. Details of the vegetation from Govindghat (at 1800 m) through Bhyundar Valley up to the Valley of Flowers including Hemkund Sahib (at 4500 m) have been provided. More than 910 angiosperms, 7 gymnosperms and 117 pteridophytes are briefly described, together with habitat and phenology, in accordance with the Bentham and Hooker system of classiﬁcation. Spectacular colour photographs of 670 plants have been provided and include the botanical and local names of plants. A brief history of Hemkund Sahib has also been provided.