Auroville (10 km): The small township of Auroville or the "City of Dawn" was conceived as a tribute to the poet philosopher Sri Aurobindo. Designed by a French architect, Roger Arger, it is an entirely new concept in education and urban living. There are about 40 odd settlements encircling a central focus called the Matrimandir. These settlements are engaged in a great variety of activities including afforestation, farming, education and handicrafts. The total area of Auroville is about 50 sq km. No local transport is available inside the township. A conducted tour of Auroville, thrice a week, from Boutique d' Auroville, 12 Nehru Street, Pondicherry, takes interested visitors around the various settlements of Auroville. Accommodation in Auroville is available in three guest houses called "Fraternity", "Swagatham", and "Utility Repose" for a charge of Rs 30 per head per day, which covers food and lodging.
Arikamedu (6 km): Recent excavations at some sites in this place have unearthed Roman coins, wire jars, etc., establishing it as one of the earliest Indo-Roman trading centres (around 2nd century AD). Further evidences show that it was also a Buddhist stronghold.
Chunnambar Boat House (8 km): Boating facilities are available at the Chunnambar Boat House. Boats can be hired on all days of the week between 9 am to 5 pm. Tel: 0413 2600816
Mailam (32 km): There is a Murugan temple on top of a hillock here. The Panguni Uthiram festival, held in March-April, attracts devotees in large numbers.
Mandagupattu (50 km): This is the location of the first Pallava cave temple dedicated the Hindu trinity - Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva. Called Lakshitayatana, it was built during the reign of Pallava King Mahendra Varman I (580-630 AD).
Ousteri Lake (10 km): A popular picnic spot on the Puducherry-Villupuram route.
Tiruvakkarai (23 km): Large fossil-bearing areas were fenced in to create the country's first-national fossil wood park here. These petrified trees lying scattered on low mounds and stream sections could be dated back to the Cretaceous age (100 million year ago). The Chandramouliswara temple dating back to the Chola period is an added attraction for being a monument of great architectural grandeur.