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Hajj 2024: Indian Hajis reach Makkah in high-speed train

Ambassador Dr Suhel Khanspeaking with an Indian Hajj Pilgrim before boarding the high speed train at the Jeddah airport (X)

Riyadh

In a historical moment, Indian Hajis travelled from the Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia to Makkah city on the High Speed train and not the usual buses. Indian ambassador in Jeddah Dr Suhel Khan and Counsel General Mohd Shahid travelled along with the pilgrims on the first such journey. The speed of the Train is 300 km per hour.

The Indian embassy in Riyadh reposted the images of Indians travelling on board the train clicked by the AIR on X:

Earlier, the Indian Embassy in Riyadh had called the occasion as historic as the Indians boarded the high speed train from the Jeddah airport

“History being scripted! For the first time Indian Hajis will use High Speed Train directly from Jeddah Airport to Makkah,” the Indian Embassy in Riyadh wrote in a post on X.

The Embassy noted that the train would not only shorten the journey time but, about 32000 Indian Hajis will also use this exclusive service this year.

“Abt 32000 Indian Hajis will use this exclusive service this yr. This will shorten the Jeddah to Makkah travel time & make their experience more comfortable. @hajmission has coordinated logistics with the concerned Saudi authorities closely to make this new initiative a success,” the embassy wrote on X.

Notably, a total quota of 1,75,025 pilgrims from India has been finalised for Haj this year, after India signed the Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 with Saudi Arabia (KSA) at Jeddah in January this year.

The Bilateral Haj Agreement 2024 was signed between Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Smriti Irani accompanied by V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs with Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, Minister of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in January this year.

“A total quota of 1,75,025 pilgrims from India has been finalised for Haj 2024 with 1,40,020 seats being reserved for pilgrims to proceed through Haj Committee of India which will greatly benefit the common first-time pilgrims intending to undertake the Haj pilgrimage in 2024 whereas 35,005 pilgrims would be permitted to proceed through Haj Group Operators,” the Ministry of Minority Affairs said in an official press release.

Every year, millions of Muslims around the world embark on a sacred pilgrimage known as Hajj/Haj. This spiritual journey holds immense significance in the lives of believers, offering an opportunity to connect with Allah, seek forgiveness, and strengthen their faith.

The heartfelt desire to be among those walking to Mina, echoing the Labaik with the crowd, and performing the rituals of Haj is a sentiment shared by countless individuals.

Meanwhile, in March this year, Union Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani released the Haj Guide 2024 and launched the Haj Suvidha Mobile Application on Sunday in New Delhi.

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Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said various Ministries in the NDA government have made coordinated efforts to provide a smooth and convenient Haj pilgrimage to people. 

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