Hindu Temple Established in San Francisco
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Swami Trigunatita
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Thanks to the work of prominent Hindu Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta societies were emerging across the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Vedanta Society of Northern California formed in 1899/1900, but like other societies, lectures and classes were given in rented halls and buildings, not traditional Hindu temples.

Under the leadership of Indian-born Swami Trigunatita, the Vedanta Society in San Francisco sought to build a Hindu temple that would serve as headquarters for their group. Construction began on Aug. 21, 1905 and was completed/dedicated on Jan.7, 1906. The building was unique, exhibiting features of a Hindu temple, a Christian church, a Muslim mosque and general American architecture. It was one of the first Hindu temples in the western world.

Although it withstood a powerful earthquake three months later and a 1914 bombing, the building began falling apart over time. However, it was reconstructed and rededicated on Oct. 29, 2016.
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Vedanta Society Temple, San Fransisco- Library of Congress, HABS CAL,38-SANFRA,151-

Swami Trigunatita portrait- Hathi Trust- from Public Opinion, vol 40 (1906)

Swami Vivekananda portrait- Hathi Trust- from The Life of Swami Vivekananda by his Eastern and Western Disciples, vol 3

Vedanta Society building- Flickr- photo by Anomalous_A (CC BY 2.0)
Web Source(s)
Vedanta Society of Northern California, "History"
World Hindu News, "Vedanta Society of Northern California Celebrates Temple Re-Dedication"
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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