The temple was originally established in a small wood framed house in San Francisco,
California, way back in 1957, by an American born Hindu guru, Sivaya SubramuniyaSwami.
It may have been the first Hindu Temple to be opened in America that was beyond
the scope of the various Vedanta centers that existed at that time.
Offering Pujas to murtis of Ganesha, Muruga and Shiva, it was founded on the traditions
of Saiva Siddhanta and known as the Palaniswami Sivan Temple. It quickly became
a popular site for the ever growing populace of newly arriving Hindus, some of whom
personally knew of the Sage from Sri Lanka, YogaSwami, who initiated the American
Guru. grow over the years, and on traditional festival days, the small temple could
hardly accomodate the crowd of devotees. In 1988, to better facilitate the Hindu
community, the temple was moved to a larger site in Concord, CA. The site was chosen
due to availability and the fact that it had always been a place of worship.
First owned by the Lutherans and later by the Greek Orthodox, structures on the
site include the temple proper with a social hall in the basement, a separate building
that's used as an office and classrooms, and a private residence for the Priests.
Due to his efforts to build an orthodox temple on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, SubramuniyaSwami
decided to sell the temple in Concord to the local Hindu Community in 1995. The
Saiva Siddhanta Ashram was incorporated as a non-profit organization, purchased
the temple in May, and changed the name to Shiva Murugan Temple.
The Temple Management has, till date, brought three Priests from India to oversee
the daily rituals. The first few years have been most generally spent in maintaining
the buildings and a dependable schedule of religious events. The Board of Directors
continues to look for ways to enhance the temple's services to the Hindu community
by considering the expansion of Temple structure, religious and cultural services.