Like many valleys in Garhwal, this one was in full bloom. With its wide meadows and seemingly endless
loveliness it must have seemed like paradise after the hostile
and barren slopes of Kamet.
In his book Kamet Conquered, Frank Smythe nick-named the Bhuidhar Valley (then known as Bhyundar) in the central Garhwal as the Valley of Flowers in 1931. To mountaineers the Bhyundar Valley will always be known as the Valley of Flowers.
It is a place of escape for those who have wearied of modern civilization. You would have to descend in winter to warmer and less snowy levels, but for half a year those in search of beauty and solitude can find peace in the Valley of Flowers.
On 4 July she went up the slopes towards Khulia Garva, slipped and fell to her death. Legge's sister requested that her body be buried in the valley. All the items she carried and collected were listed and sent to England and a small grave was built where she lay. Her sister visited the site in 1940 and erected a small memorial, which still stands there, with the following inscription from the Bible:
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills
From whence cometh my help
Since this grave is the only point of reference in the valley most visitors who reach here believe, rather erroneously, that it was Joan Legge rather than Frank Smythe who discovered the Valley of Flowers.
Today the Valley of Flowers is a national park and is well-preserved. This valley owes much to Frank Smythe. The name he gave it caught on and he made the place famous. As a result trekkers, non-mountaineers and even weekend visitors find their way to this easily accessible place of glorious beauty. Outsiders now know that there is much more to the Himalaya than shrines and snow.