Jeddah: Nearly 2.5 million Muslims, including
1,23,790 Indians have arrived for the world`s largest annual
human assembly, Hajj pilgrimage, as Saudi Arabia stepped up
preparation for the event which peaks on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia has completed all preparations for the
largest Muslim gathering by mobilising all its resources to
ensure the welfare and security of pilgrims.
"Many of the 2.5 million pilgrims, who are expected to
perform Hajj this year, will leave for the Mina valley,
located five km east of Mecca, on Thursday evening at the
start of the annual pilgrimage. The rest of them will proceed
to the tent city Friday," Arab News said.
The pilgrimage will peak on Saturday as Muslims gather in
the plain of Mount Arafat, outside Mecca in the western region
of the Kingdom.
"A total of 1,23,790 pilgrims have arrived from India.
1,23,725 are in Mecca and 3 pilgrims are in Madina.
So far 435 flights have come from India," Consulate
General of India said here. "As of today 74 pilgrims have
expired," it said yesterday.
The majority of the faithful who are performing Hajj for
the first time are immensely happy for having gotten the rare
opportunity. They repeat the religious slogan: "Labbaik
Allahumma Labbaik" (O God, we are here in response to your
This year the pilgrims will enjoy full-scale operation of
the Mashair Railway that links the holy sites of Mina, Arafat
and Muzdalifah. The train service will bring about a dramatic
improvement in the transport of pilgrims by carrying more than
1 million faithful during the peak Hajj days.