Dubai: Hajj pilgrims have started returning home after smoothly performing the annual pilgrimage in the holy of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
The first flight carrying 234 Indian pilgrims left Jeddah for Goa/Manglore on Sunday.
According to the Indian Consulate in Jeddah, there are 421 flights in the return phase which would be going to 20 destinations in India.
"As in the first phase, two airlines namely, Air India and Saudia would be carrying Indian pilgrims. The Air India would be carrying a total of 46,401 pilgrims while Saudia would be carrying a total of 74,937 pilgrims," it said.
Movement of pilgrims from Mecca, Islam`s holiest site, to Medina has already started with effect from October 20 and all arrangements are in place for a smooth movement by road.
A total of 59,230 pilgrims would be visiting Madinah in the second phase. Only three Indian pilgrims have been reported missing till now and efforts are on to locate them with the help of local authorities.
A total of 95 pilgrims have died so far and there have been 923 cases of hospitalisation for medical care and observation.
Around 136,000 Indian pilgrims performed Hajj this year.
The Hajj pilgrimage is one of the five pillars of Islam that should be performed at least once in lifetime by every Muslim who is financially and physically capable.