Charminar and Golconda Fort
Not only is the Charminar an iconic monument, it's also worth a visit if you enjoy shopping. Though congested and untidy, it is right in the middle of the various bazaars - the midnight bazaar, the bangles bazaar, and all sorts of pearls are also sold there. In the 1980s, when I first came to Hyderabad, I was struck by the beauty of place, especially after sunset, when the streets were lit and people were walking through the bazaars, having lovely Irani chai and street food while prayers were being said in the nearby mosques.

Golconda is where the Kohinoor diamond was found. It is a magnificent fort, situated on a hillock, about 10-15km from the city. I have visited Golconda quite a few times and each time I have been amazed by its acoustics: if you clap your hands at the fort's entrance on the foot of the hills, the sound can be heard at the highest point of the fort. Try it if you don't believe me.

Paradise restaurant
This is my favourite restaurant for the quintessential Hyderabadi biryani, along with tea. The branch located in the twin city of Secunderabad is one of the oldest restaurants in the city. I always order the dum biryani - the meat is marinated perfectly and has the right amount of spices. It melts in your mouth, and the taste stays in your mind forever.

If you want spicy Andhra cuisine, go to Abhiruchi, which isn't too far from Paradise. You'll always end up eating more than you imagined you could.

Parade Grounds
If you want to test your cricket skills, head to the Parade Grounds, off the main traffic artery. The place is owned by the army, and it has been the hunting ground for Hyderabad's cricketers. Like the maidans of Mumbai, these grounds were where stalwarts like ML Jaisimha and Kapil Dev displayed their skills on matting wickets in the Moin-u-Dowlah tournaments. It is a huge place and every pitch has a different name. If you are a first-time visitor, don't go there on a Sunday, because the chaos may be too much to take. Unfortunately, flyovers built near the grounds have dented the charm a bit, but it's still worth a visit.

Walk by the Tank Bund
You can jog or walk on this two-kilometre stretch by the Hussain Sagar lake early in the morning. On the far side of the bund is Necklace Road, a popular hangout in the evenings because of the rows of fast-food restaurants that line it.

Ramoji Film City
The Telugu movie industry is probably the second largest in India, after Bollywood. This film city is located about 35km outside the city, on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway. It is a well-equipped mini city by itself, with a couple of five-star hotels and a shopping plaza. You could probably stay there and enjoy the making of a movie.

Venkatapathy Raju took 93 wickets in 28 Tests for India

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi