he name "Bopath Ella" has been given to the waterfall because of its shape. The water flows through a narrow gap in the rocks and then widens, forming the shape of a leaf of a "Bo" tree which is the Sinhalese name for sacred fig (Ficus religiosa). "Path" means leaves of a tree and "Ella" means waterfall. Virgin forests with a rich biodiversity surround the waterfall.
Bopath Ella is 30 metres (98 ft) high. It is formed from the Kuru Ganga, which is a tributary of the Kalu Ganga. Its mean rate of flow is 6 square metres (65 sq ft) per second, and its catchment area receives an average rainfall of 5,080 millimetres (200 in) annually. Water from the falls is used for paddy cultivation. Bopath Ella is also the most comprehensively studied waterfall in the country.
Bopath Ella is a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka, since it is not far from the capital, Colombo, and is easily accessible. There have been unsuccessful attempts to use the waterfall to generate hydroelectricity.The path to the waterfall is lined with a number of shops and stalls, and it is somewhat polluted because of this commercialization.