Palk Strait

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Murugapillai Navratnaswami, the first person to cross the Palk Strait in 1954
Balasaheb Ramchandra Ghadge crossing the Palk Strait
Rajiv Trivedi holds the record crossing the Palk Strait together with Balasaheb Ramchandra Ghadge
Palk Strait (Tamil:பாக் சலசந்தி) is a strait between the Tamil Nadu state of India and the Mannar district of the Northern Province of the island nation of Sri Lanka. It connects the Bay of Bengal in the northeast with the Palk Bay and thence 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, who was a governor of Madras Presidency (1755-1763) during the Company Raj period. It is studded at its southern end with a chain of low islands and reef shoals that are collectively called Adam's Bridge.

[edit] Adam's Bridge

Adam's Bridge (Tamil: ஆதாம் பாலம்), also known as Rama's Bridge or Rama Setu, is a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the southeastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar Island, off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka. The bridge is 18 miles (30 km) long and separates the Gulf of Mannar (southwest) from the Palk Strait (northeast). Some of the sandbanks are dry and the sea in the area is very shallow, being only 3 ft to 30 ft (1 m to 10 m) deep in places, which hinders navigation. It was reportedly passable on foot up to the 15th century until storms deepened the channel: temple records seem to say that Rama’s Bridge was completely above sea level until it broke in a cyclone in 1480.

[edit] Palk Strait Crossings

1. Murugapillai Navratnaswami (or spelled Murugupillai Navaratnasamy) was the first person to swim the Palk Strait in 1954 where he took 26 hours 50 minutes to swim 32 miles from Valevettithurai (VVT) to Point Calimere on his second attempt.

2. V.S. Kumar Anandan, newphew of Murugapillai Navratnaswami, completed a swim from VVT to Point Calimere in 1963 that took 42 hours.

3. V.S. Kumar Anandan also completed a two-way crossing in 1974 in 51 hours.

4. Tanarath Narayan Shenoy crossed the Palk Strait.

5. Mihir Sen is an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer who crossed the Palk Strait in 1966 in 25 hours 44 minutes.

6. Bula Chowdhury Chakraborty, an accomplished marathon swimmer who crossed the English Channel twice, the Catalina Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Cook Strait, crossed the Palk Strait in 2004 in 13 hours 52 minutes.

7. Rajiv Trivedi is an Indian open water swimmer who crossed in 2011 between India and Sri Lanka in 12 hours 31 minutes.

8. Balasaheb Ramchandra Ghadge is an Indian open water swimmer who crossed in 2011 between India and Sri Lanka in 12 hours 31 minutes.

9. S.P. Murleedharan completed the Palk Strait between Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Arichamunai at Danushkodi in India in 13 hours 53 minutes in 2012. "As an Indian I feel proud to cross Palk Strait from Sri Lanka to India. The conditions were extremely tough for swimming. The sea, pleasant in the initial stage, turned very rough. It forced me to swim against the strong wind and choppy sea."

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