Photos for a Rhythms Monthly feature on the Palk strait, the water body separating India from Sri Lanka.
Believed by many Hindus to be sacred waters once easily forded using a bridge built by the god Rama and his monkey-warrior acolyte Hanuman, the shallow strait is today largely impassable for most shipping traffic and heavy navy boats. Current bids to dredge the limestone shoals in these shallow waters – the Sethusamudram Shipping canal project – have been met with religious protests.
After more than 25 years of violence, Sri Lanka’s civil war ended in May 2009, with the ethnic Sinhalese majority conslidating power soon after in elections. Thousands of the island’s Tamils are slowly piecing together their lives, leaving refugee camps.