Bopath Waterfall

The Bopath Falls cascades in the shape of a bo (Ficus religiosa) tree (hence its name) and is the most comprehensively studied fall in Sri Lanka. Its source is the Kurugana River that later joins the Kaluganga River at Kurugaomaodara.

The average temperature of the area is 26.9 – 27.8 degrees Celsius and the annual rainfall of the fall’s catchment area is 5080mm. The mean speed of the flow is 6 cubic metres per second. The upper reach of the fall is made up of granite and biotite virin, and is covered by sand. The water from the fall irrigates the paddy fields of the Udakada and Kuruwita areas.

The surrounding plant and tree life includes attikka (Ficus racimosa), kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), midella, dun (Doona spp), para (Wormia suffruticosa), ginihota (Cythia spp), rathmadiya, ketala (Lagenendra oveta), Beduru (Dryneria spp), orchids, varieties of meewana (Madhca) badal, hanassa, makulu and beduru. Animal species include wild boar, Meemina deer and reptiles, and the water is home to many species of fish including bulathhapaya, lellu, magura, korali, sonnu and eel. In addition to its rich bio-diversity, the fall is also steeped in folklore. One such story tells how a youth from Colombo made a pilgrimage here, and on losing his way was helped and sheltered by a local village girl.

A love developed between the two and she became pregnant before his departure. He left, promising to return but never did. Overcome with grief, she took her own life by plunging into the fall. Villagers say that her ghost (which appears as a floating blue light) haunts the fall.

Another local belief is that a treasure trove lies somewhere within the fall and that one thousand human sacrifices are needed to retrieve it. Bopath Falls is in the Ratnapura District, Kuruwita Divisional Secretariat at Agalwatte village. Take the road from Columbo to Ratnapura and turn left along Devipahala road. After 3km the fall is reached. (The Dodam Falls is located close by).

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