Palk Strait is a strait between the Tamil Nadu state of India and the Mannar district of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It connects the Bay of Bengal in the northeast with the Palk Bay and then with the Gulf of Mannar in the southwest. The strait is 33 to 50 miles (53 to 80 km) wide. Several rivers flow into it, including the Vaigai River of Tamil Nadu. The strait is named after Robert Palk. He was a governor of Madras Presidency (1755-1763) during the Company Raj period.
The shallow waters and reefs of the strait make it difficult for large ships to pass through.