No, the British Army isn’t sending “4,000 Buddhist troops” to Bodh Gaya.

The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya.

By Claire Michalewicz

I thought this report from the Daily Mail about the British Army’s plans to send 4,000 battle-weary Buddhist troops to Bodh Gaya to meditate at the Mahabodhi Temple was fascinating, but dubious. A call to the British Army’s press office confirmed those suspicions.

“It’s completely untrue,” an army spokeswoman told me, explaining that the Ministry of Defence had no official plans to send troops to Bodh Gaya, the religious site in India where Gautama Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment. A Buddhist army chaplain is arranging a pilgrimage there for up to 20 soldiers next year, but they’ll be paying for the trip themselves.

(Photo by Man Bartlett via Flickr, CC-BY license.)