Indian Haj Mission is in attendance as pilgrims gather at Mount Arafat

Story by  IANS | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 15-06-2024
Indian pilgrims at Arafat
Indian pilgrims at Arafat



Over 175,000 pilgrims from India have converged on the sacred Mount Arafat outside Mecca in Saudi Arabia and are currently busy with their prayers on the holiest day of the Haj pilgrimage, Ambassador of India to Saudi Arabia, Suhel Ajaz Khan, said on Saturday.

"The Indian Haj Mission along with the Saudi Haj Ministry and various other service providers have made all the arrangements of moving the pilgrims from Mina to Arafat, including their stay in Arafat and for their return. After today, the main ritual of the Haj will be over," Ambassador Khan said in a video posted by the Indian Haj Mission.

The Indian authorities in Mecca said they are "leaving no stone unturned" in providing assistance to the pilgrims.

"Ensuring that sick Indian Haj pilgrims reach and stay in Arafat as part of their Haj rituals, 24 ambulances and 2 buses have been put on service by Indian Haj Mission for carrying 54 sick pilgrims from Mina to Arafat where there will stay till sunset, today," the Indian Haj Mission posted on X on Saturday evening.

It is expected that about 25 lakh pilgrims from all over the world, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will perform Haj this year.

India has received a total quota of 1,75,025 pilgrims for Haj 2024 with 1,40,020 seats reserved for pilgrims to proceed through the Haj Committee of India, and 35,005 pilgrims permitted to proceed through Haj group operators.

Last month, in a historic first, Indian Haj pilgrims arriving at the Jeddah airport travelled to Mecca by the High-Speed Haramain Train instead of buses.

An Indian pilgrims boarding bus for Mina as a volunteer scans her identity card

The arrangement, which will make the journey of the pilgrims more comfortable, has been facilitated by India's Consulate General in Jeddah in coordination with the concerned Saudi authorities.

The government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been making efforts over the last few years to make the Haj pilgrimage a transparent, uniform, cost efficient, safe and spiritually fulfilling experience for the pilgrims.

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The Indian Haj Mission - the biggest operation of its kind handled by the government of India outside the Indian borders - has closely coordinated logistics with the concerned Saudi authorities to make the new initiative a success.