NEW DELHI — The Golden Temple, a sprawling and serene complex of
gleaming gold and polished marble that is the spiritual center of the
Sikh religion, is one of India’s most popular tourist attractions.
Revered by Indians of all faiths, it is a cherished emblem of India’s
religious diversity. So it was no surprise when the gold-plated marvel
was promoted as the likely third stop on President Obama’s visit to
India, scheduled for early November.
But the United States has
ruled out a Golden Temple visit, according to an American official
involved in planning. Temple officials said that American advance teams
had gone to Amritsar, the holy city that is the site of the temple, to
discuss a possible visit. But the plan appears to have foundered on the
thorny question of how Mr. Obama would cover his head, as Sikh tradition
requires, while visiting the temple.
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