PALK STRAIT (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     16th October 2023        
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Context: India and Sri Lanka recently launched a ferry service across the Palk Strait under a new roadmap for greater connectivity.

Palk Strait

  • Located: Between India's Tamil Nadu state and the island nation of Sri Lanka.
  • Named after Robert Palk: The strait derives its name from Robert Palk, who served as the governor of the Madras Presidency from 1755 to 1763 during the British Raj era.
  • Geographic Boundaries: Palk Strait is bordered on the south by Pamban Island (India), Adam's (Rama's) Bridge, a chain of shoals, the Gulf of Mannar, and Mannar Island (Sri Lanka).
  • Connects Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mannar: This strait serves as a crucial connection between the Bay of Bengal in the northeast and the Gulf of Mannar in the southwest.
  • The Southwest Section: The southwestern part of Palk Strait is often referred to as Palk Bay.
  • Dimensions: Palk Strait has dimensions that range from 40 to 85 miles (64 to 137 km) in width, extending to a length of 85 miles. Its depth is less than 330 feet (100 meters).
  • River Inflow: The Vaigai River of Tamil Nadu flows into the strait, enriching its ecosystem.
  • Port of Jaffna: The strategic Port of Jaffna, which serves as the commercial hub for northern Sri Lanka, is located along the shores of the Palk Strait.