A stampede killed at least 39 people at a Hindu religious festival in western India Wednesday.

The stampede took place as millions of Hindu devotees assembled at the Godavari River near Nasik, India, to bathe for the festival of Kumbh Mela.

Nasik Mayor Dashrath Patil said 39 people were killed and at least 47 were injured. Police said a barricade collapsed, starting the stampede.

Aaj Tak television reported at least 60 people were injured. The reports said most of the dead were elderly women.

The festival is held every 12 years, timed in connection with alignments of the sun and Jupiter.

Hindus consider the Godavari River sacred and believe they can rid themselves of sin by bathing there during such festivals.

About 60 million Hindus are estimated to take part at various times during the month-long festival.