A service of the British India Steam Navigation Company's steamers has been established between Negapatam and Colombo through Palk Strait and this narrow passage.
The chief seaport is Negapatam, and the principal export is rice to Ceylon.
On the arrival of Lord Macartney as governor of Madras, the British fleet captured Negapatam, and forced Hyder Ali to confess that he could never ruin a power which had command of the sea.
At the present time the Dutch flag flies nowhere on the mainland of India, though the quaint houses and regular canals at Chinsura, Negapatam, Jaffna, and many petty ports on the Coromandel and Malabar coasts remind the traveller of familiar scenes in the Netherlands.
On the seaward face of its delta are the open roadsteads of Negapatam and French Karikal.