More than 50,000 devotees, including a large number of women and children, witnessed the famous annual ‘Kundam festival' at the Arulmighu Kondathu Kaliyamman temple in Pariyur near Gobichettipalayam on Thursday. Hundreds of men and women walked over the sacred bed of lit charcoal on the occasion of the festival. The ritual, which began around 4 a.m., went on for several hours. Devotees waited in serpentine queues since 1 a.m. to walk on the bed of lit charcoal. Senior government officials and elected representatives also walked on the bed. A majority of the devotees had come from Erode, Sathyamangalam, Nambiyur, Bhavanisagar, Gobichettipalayam and other places.