The island’s area is 50 km² and it is roughly oval-shaped. Its length is 8 km and its maximum width about 6 km and located in the Palk Straights.
Delft is also known as Neduntivu and is a flat island surrounded by shallow waters and beaches of coral chunks and sand. It is home to a small population of Tamil people, mostly living in quiet compounds close to the northern coast. The vegetation is of a semi-arid tropical type, withpalmyra palms, dry shrubs and grasses that grow on the pale Grey porous coralline soil. Papayas and bananas grow close to the local people’s homes. In the western coast of the island there are remains of a 1000-year-old temple built by the Chola Dynasty, as well as the ruins of a Dutch colonial fort. The water is slightly brackish, and it is taken from shallow wells using buckets made from palmyra palm leaves. A naval battle was fought off the coast of the island in 2008 during the Sri-Lankan Civil War. There are feral ponies on the island, descendants of forebears abandoned there in the Dutch period.
The island was named after the Dutch city of Delft by Rijckloff van Goens. He named the eight most important islands after Dutch cities.