Police in northern India say that 63 people have died in a stampede at a temple where a crowd had gathered for a religious festival in the Uttar Pradesh state.

About 10,000 people had gathered at the Hindu temple to collect free clothes and food being handed out by a local holy man.

The stampede began when a large metal gate fell onto some of the devotees, officials said.

Assistant Police Superintendent SP Pathak said: 'We have now counted all the bodies and they include 37 children and 26 women who had come to collect free gifts.'

Mr Pathak said: 'The number of those injured is not very large and most of them have gone back home after the stampede.'

He added that no men had died because women and children were at the front of the surging crowd.

The Ram Janaki temple is in the town of Pratapgarh, which is 650km southeast of New Delhi.