Over 1.36 lakh Indian pilgrims reach Saudi Arabia for Haj

  • PTI, Jeddah
  • Updated: Sep 30, 2014 17:21 IST

All the 1,36,020 Indian pilgrims who will perform Haj this year have reached Saudi Arabia, officials said on Tuesday.

"All the 1,36,020 Indian Haj pilgrims have reached Saudi Arabia with the last flight carrying 394 pilgrims from Mumbai arriving on Monday," Indian consul general BS Mubarak told PTI.

Monday was the last day of flight operations, he said.

Two senior BJP leaders representing India at this year's Haj also arrived on Monday.

Arif Beg, a former federal minister who hails from Bhopal, is heading the delegation and is accompanied by Abdul Rasheed Ansari, National President of party's minority wing, of Delhi.

Ambassador of India Hamid Ali Rao received the Haj Goodwill Delegation headed by Baig.

The first batch of Indians arrived in Saudi Arabia on August 27 when 235 pilgrims landed in Madinah while the final batch reached the country on Monday, with a total of 365 flights carrying the pilgrims for Haj this year.

Of the 136,020 Indian pilgrims who have reached Saudi Arabia this year, 100,020 came through the Haj Committee of India.

Saudi Airlines carried 49,230 Indian pilgrims while Air India transported 50,790 others from 21 embarkation points.

The remaining 36,000 pilgrims came through private tour operators.

Over two million pilgrims, coming from all corners of the globe, will begin their trek to the tent city of Mina on Thursday on the first leg of the five-day pilgrimage.

The Haj will reach its zenith on Friday, October 3, when nearly 3 million pilgrims will stand on the plains of Arafat.

The pilgrimage will end after Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.

The pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam that should be performed at least once in a lifetime by every Muslim who is financially and physically capable.

On Monday, Mubarak had said all preparations have been completed to ensure that the 1,36,000 Indian pilgrims can perform a hassle-free Haj with everything going according to plan.

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