Art in Chalukya Temples
The temples of the Kalyani Chalukyas are abundant in detailed carvings and ornate sculptures. The common themes repeated across temples are depictions of kirtimukhas (mythological monsters), makaras (mythical aquatic creatures), vegetal scrolls, god and goddesses, dancers, musicians, miniature shikharas and even mithuna (erotic) figures. The porch and the doorways are strikingly beautiful with chiseled fretwork, colonettes and minute human figurines. The eroded stones, in certain places, retain a reddish hue that bounces off the shiny pillars and lends a mystical aura. The ceilings are covered in floral motifs, particularly blooming lotuses, and mythological tales.
Visit Mission Dolores (Dolores and 16th St.; 415-621-8203), the city’s oldest building and first mission. Founded by Spanish settlers in 1776, the mission and neighboring church feature historic adobe architecture. Scenes from Hitchcock’s Veritigo were filmed in the church cemetery.