Our base for the next five days is Hotel Arudra.
This is a very convenient perch - it is just outside the eastern gopuram of the temple.
Also, the BSNL team at Chidambaram, used now to our requests and needs find it easy to fix our broadband connection.
The line of pilgrims visiting the great temple wanes as we check out the outer yard of the temple, on its eastern side.
Giant plaster-of-paris and fibre glass models of temple pillars, modeled on those you will find in any vintage temple are being placed on the stage.
They look impressive even in the scarce light. On Monday, when this stage comes alive the props on the stage will possibly impress the artistes and the audience.
The Natyanjali Trust team has always tried to give this fest a special despite handicaps and limitations.
It needs to - after all, it is the mother of the Natyanjalis!
It is 10 pm and the town is shutting down. Dramatic changes greet us every year. A new hotel, swank in the exterior has come up on East Car Street. Grand Park.
Rooms start at Rs.1500.
(If you need a luxurious room in Chidambaram call 04144-225859).
Our favorite 'mess' on this road is about to close - we have a quick tiffin, meet a doc from Mumbai who loves south Indian food and warns me about my central obesity and call it a day!