Jaipur's signature building, the Hawa Mahal, a multi layered palace, was built by Sawai Pratap Singh (grand son of Sawai Jai Singh and son of Sawai Madhoo Singh) in 1799 AD and Mr. Lal Chand Usta was the architect. Famous for it's beehive like structure, the Hawa Mahal is an interplay of red and pink sand stone, carefully and painstakingly outlined with white borders and motifs. This five storey building, which looks out over the main street of the old city , is a stunning example of Rajput artistry, with its pink semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed sandstone windows. It was originally built to enable ladies of the royal household, to watch the everyday life and processions of the city.
The Hill Palace, the official residence of the Kochi royal family, is today the largest archaeological museum in Kerala. Built in 1865, the palace complex consists of 49 buildings in the traditional architectural style of Kerala, sprawled over 52 acres of beautifully landscaped terraced land which houses a deer park and facilities for horse riding. Numerous species of flora including rare medicinal plants grow here. On display in the full-fledged Ethno-archaeological museum are oil-paintings, murals, sculptures in stone and manuscripts, inscriptions, coins, belongings of the Kochi royal family and royal furniture including the simhasana (throne).
Also exhibited are over 200 antique pieces of pottery and ceramic vases from Japan and China, Kudakkallu (tomb stone), Thoppikkallu (hood stone), menhirs, granite, laterite memorials, rock cut weapons from the stone ages, wooden temple models, plaster cast models of objects from Mohanjodaro and Harappa of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The museum also houses a gallery of contemporary art.