تنگهٔ پالک (به انگلیسی: Palk Strait) آبراهی است در جنوبغربی خلیج بنگال در اقیانوس هند که مابین جنوبشرقی هند و شمال سری لانکا واقع شدهاست. این تنگه بین ۴۰ تا ۸۵ مایل (۶۴ تا ۱۳۷ کیلومتر) پهنا و ۸۵ مایل درازا دارد و مجموعهای از تپههای زیرآبی کمعمق همچون پلی در جنوب آن واقع شده که آدامز بریج (یا راماز بریج) را تشکیل میدهند. همچنین جزیره پامبان (متعلق به هندوستان) و جزیره منار (متعلق به سری لانکا) در جنوب تنگهٔ پالک قرار دارند. چندین رودخانه ازجمله رود وایگای هند به این تنگه میریزند و بسیاری از جزایر سری لانکا نیز در این تنگه قرار دارند. بندر جفنا، مرکز تجاری شمال سری لانکا از طریق این تنگه به دادوستد با ایالت تامیل نادوی هند میپردازد. همچنین یک کشتی مخصوص حمل واگنهای قطار در این تنگه بین دانوشکودی هند و تالایمنار سری لانکا در رفتوآمد است.
The Palk Strait (Tamil: பாக்கு நீரிணை, Sinhala: පෝක් සමුද්ර සන්ධිය Pok Samudra Sandhiya) 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 Palk Bay in the southwest. The strait is 53 to 82 kilometres (33 to 51 mi) 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 (1755–1763) during the Company Raj period.
Palk Bay is studded at its southern end with a chain of low islands and reef shoals that are collectively called Adam's Bridge, it has historically been known in Hindu Mythology as "Ram Setu" i.e. The Bridge of Rama. This chain extends between Dhanushkodi on Pamban Island (also known as Rameswaram Island) in Tamil Nadu and Mannar Island in Sri Lanka. The island of Rameswaram is linked to the Indian mainland by the Pamban Bridge.
As from 1914, there used to be regular trains from Madras/Chennai to Dhanushkodi, a ferry to Talaimannar on Mannar Island, and then a train to Colombo. In 1964, a cyclone destroyed Dhanushkodi and the railway and caused severe damage along the shores of Palk Strait and Palk Bay. Dhanushkodi was not rebuilt and the railway from Talaimannar to Mahawilachchiya in Sri Lanka was given up due to the civil war (It was later completely rebuilt). There was a ferry between small piers in Rameswaram and Talaimannar, but this was discontinued till date.
The shallow waters and reefs of the strait make it difficult for large ships to pass through, although fishing boats and small craft carrying coastal trade have navigated the strait for centuries. Large ships must travel around Sri Lanka. Construction of a shipping canal through the strait was first proposed to the British government of India in 1860, and a number of commissions have studied the proposal up to the present day. The most recent study of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project, as it is now called, was an environmental impact assessment and a technical feasibility study commissioned by the Tamil Nadu government in 2004.
However, the plan encountered opposition from various religious circles. The Indian epic poem Ramayana, written thousands of years ago in Sanskrit and an important Hindu text, recounts how Rama, with the help of an army of vanaras, built a bridge of stones across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from the Asura king Ravana. The Ram Karmabhoomi movement, encouraged by a NASA satellite photograph of Rama's Setu, was formed to prevent the shipping canal from being built.
The construction of an Undersea Bed Rail tunnel linking India and Sri Lanka has been proposed that will pass below the Palk Strait.