(Spanish, probably derived either from Arabic nashif, "dry, exhausted", or from Arabic mansha, "dryland, desert")
A region of high plains (elev. about 650-700 m) in central Spain, SE of Madrid. Part of the administrative region of Castilla-La Mancha.
The flat, dry plain, with its cold winters and hot summers, is bordered by the Sierra Morena to the South, the Serania de Cuenca to the East, the Tajo river to the North, and the Montes de Toledo to the West. It is a thinly-populated backwater, where farming (mostly cereal grains and viticulture) makes up most of the economy.
La Mancha's chief claim to fame is as the home of the fictional Don Quixote de La Mancha in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's Don Quixote.