Bathymetry of Palk Bay developed by interpolation of National Hydrographic datasets
Bathymetry of Palk Bay developed by interpolation of National Hydrographic datasets

Palk Bay is a semi-enclosed shallow water body between the southeast coast of India and Sri Lanka, with a water depth maximum of 13 m.[1] Palk Bay is located between 8° 50′ and 10° North latitudes and 78° 50′ and 80° 30′ East longitudes.[1] The width of Palk Bay ranges from 57 to 107 km and the length is around 150 km.[1] Palk Bay is considered to be one amongst the major sinks for sediments along with Gulf of Mannar.[2] Sediments discharged by rivers and transported by the surf currents as littoral drift settle in this sink.[3] Few scientists have tried to understand the wave characteristics within the Palk Bay.[4]

In the southern regions close to Dhanushkodi, wind seas dominate. The north-eastern region of Palk Bay is exposed to the Bay of Bengal through the shallow Palk Strait and hence the swells can enter the Palk Bay through this opening. To the south of Palk Bay, Adam's Bridge separates Palk Bay from the Gulf of Mannar. Despite being a very shallow channel, Wave effects are transmitted to a small extent through the Adam's Bridge passage.[1] It is interesting to notice that, despite the visible block along the Adam's Bridge, the passage of Wind wave and Ocean current (to a very small extent) from Gulf of Mannar to the bay is evident. Meanwhile, even with wide and broader opening along the north-eastern borders of the bay, facing the Bay of Bengal, the Wind wave and Ocean current fluxes are less significant here.

Ramayana and Palk Bay

Palk Bay is associated with an ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana popular over the Indian Subcontinent,  which follows Prince Rama's quest to rescue his beloved wife Sita from the clutches of Ravana with the help of an army of Vaanaras (monkeys). It is traditionally attributed to the authorship of the sage Valmiki and dated to around 500 BCE to 100 BCE. The epic describes how Prince Rama and his followers managed to cross the Palk Bay to reach Lanka (Sri Lanka) to save Sita.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d George, victor; Kumar, V. Sanil (October 2019). "Wind-wave measurements and modelling in the shallow semi-enclosed Palk Bay". Ocean Engineering. 189: 106401. doi:10.1016/j.oceaneng.2019.106401. ISSN 0029-8018. S2CID 203096484.
  2. ^ Chandramohan, P. Jena, B.K. SanilKumar, V. (2006-08-28). Littoral drift sources and sinks along the Indian coast. Indian Academy of Sciences. OCLC 713270195.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Gowthaman, Rajamanickam; Kumar, V. Sanil; Dwarakish, Gowdagere Siddaramaish; Shanas, P.R.; Jena, Basanta Kumar; Singh, Jai (November 2015). "Nearshore waves and longshore sediment transport along Rameshwaram Island off the east coast of India". International Journal of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering. 7 (6): 939–950. Bibcode:2015IJNAO...7..939G. doi:10.1515/ijnaoe-2015-0065. ISSN 2092-6782.
  4. ^ Gowthaman, R. SanilKumar, V. Dwarakish, G.S. Mohan, S.S. JaiSingh AshokKumar, K. (2013-06-17). Waves in Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay around Dhanushkodi, Tamil Nadu, India. Current Science Association. OCLC 854516766.((cite book)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Wight, Colin. "Quick guide to the Ramayana". Retrieved 2020-04-29.

Coordinates: 9°30′N 79°15′E / 9.500°N 79.250°E / 9.500; 79.250