“Yesterday (Thursday) was the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country … 51C in Phalodi,” said BP Yadav, a director of India’s meteorological department, on Friday.
Temperatures in northern India regularly hit the high 40s in May and June – the hottest months of the year – but topping 50C is unusual.
The record for India is thought to be 50.6C (123F), recorded in 1956 in the northern town of Alwar.
The weather office has issued warnings of “severe heatwave” conditions across large parts of India’s northern and western regions through the weekend.
India declares a heatwave when the maximum temperature hits 45C, or rises five degrees higher than the average for the area in previous years.
Several hundred people are thought to have died during this year’s heatwave and some areas have banned daytime cooking in order to limit the fire risk.
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