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.