The ‘ thambis ’ as the soldiers of the Madras Regiment are fondly referred to set the tone for Pongal celebrations in this hill station on Wednesday.

Putting on the back burner their routine activities, the soldiers gathered with their families at the sun bathed Sri Nagesh parade square in the heart of the Wellington barracks near here.

While folk artistes from Chennai added colour and gaiety to the celebrations with their performances including mayilattam , thapattam and oyilttam, some o
f the soldiers honoured cows by displaying 'look alikes'.