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town, eastern Jammu and Kashmir state, India, in the Kashmir region of the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The town is located in the remote valley of the upper Indus River at an elevation of 11,550 feet (3,520 metres), surrounded by the towering peaks of the Ladakh Range (a southeastern extension of the Karakoram Range). Leh is one of the highest permanently inhabited towns in the world. Built as a terminus for caravans from Asia, it is reached only by one main highway, the Treaty Road, which connects it to Srinagar to the west and to Demqog, Tibet Autonomous Region (China), to the southeast. The economy relies mainly on trade, but fruit growing and agriculture are also important. An old palace of the kings of Ladakh and the Sankar monastery overlook the town. Pop. (2001) 28,639.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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