Sixty-three people, all of them women and children, were crushed to death in a stampede Thursday at a temple in northern India where crowds gathered for a religious festival.

"We have now counted all the bodies and they include 37 children and 26 women who had come to collect free gifts," assistant superintendent of police S.P. Pathak said by phone from the disaster site.

SLIDESHOW: Temple Stampede.

About 10,000 people were gathered at the Hindu temple in Pratapgarh, 400 miles southeast of the nation's capital New Delhi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, to collect free clothes and food that were being handed out by a local holy man, Pathak said.

The stampede began when a large metal gate fell onto some of the devotees. Emergency vehicles and rescue teams then rushed to the scene.

"The number of those injured is not very large, and most of them have gone back home after the stampede," Pathak said, as people near the temple continued to wail.

He said not a single adult male was crushed in the stampede, as women and children were in the front of the surging crowd.