2 million pilgrims expected at this year's annual Hajj pilgrimage

Muslim pilgrims in Mecca circled the Kaaba, Islam's holiest site, officially opening the annual Hajj pilgrimage on Monday. 

Updated on Jun 28, 2023 11:19 AM IST 8 Photos

Muslim pilgrims pray around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on June 25. Muslim pilgrims are converging on Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca for the largest Hajj since the coronavirus pandemic severely curtailed access to one of Islam's five pillars. (Amr Nabil / AP)

Thousands of pilgrims circumambulate around the Kaaba, the cubic building at the Grand Mosque, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in Mecca on June 25.  Ayedh al-Ghweinim, a spokesman for the Saudi Hajj Ministry told AP, “More than 1.8 million pilgrims from all over the world have already amassed in and around Mecca for the Hajj, and the number was still growing as more pilgrims from inside Saudi Arabia joined” (Amr Nabil / AP)

Muslim pilgrims arrive in Mina, near Islam's holy city of Mecca on June 26. Authorities have said they expect this year's numbers to approach pre-COVID levels of more than 2 million, reported AP. (Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

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Tents housing pilgrims are seen pitched together in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, on June 23. The pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all Muslims are required to make the five-day Hajj at least once in their lives if they are physically and financially able to do it, reported AP. ( Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

A volunteer hands out food packages offered by the residents of Mecca to pilgrims, as Muslims from around the world arrive to attend the annual Hajj pilgrimage on June 23. The pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all Muslims are required to make the five-day Hajj at least once in their lives if they are physically and financially able to do it, reported AP. ( Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

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