Discovered in 1931 by British mountaineers Frank S Smythe, Eric Shipton and RL Holdsworth who accidentally came across a large expanse dotted with flowers of every colour during their return from an expedition to Mount Kamet, Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
The Valley falls in the Nanda Devi biosphere of Uttarakhand. It is closed to public each year on October 31 after which the government releases a number of visitors to the site between June 1 and the closing day that year. This year, 10,000 visitors were recorded at the site.
After the cloudburst that ravaged several places in Uttarakhand in June 2013, thousands of people were reportedly killed in the flash floods, the Valley of Flowers was opened only in 2014 and was visited by 4,066 tourists. In 2015, the number of tourists increased to 6,510.