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Going for Hajj from India

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The Haj is the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so.

Being the third largest Muslim populated country, India's share is large in number of Hajj pilgrims. Hajj travel is organized by the central Hajj committee of India under the aegis of the central government and by private tour operators according to government allocations.

The total Hajj quota allotted by Saudi Arabian Government for Hajj in 2009 was 167,991, out of which 120,586 was for the pilgrims traveling through Hajj Committee of India and remaining 47,405 was distributed among private tour operators. There were 616 private tour operators, who organized Hajj tours during Hajj 2009. Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra, Kerala, Kashmir & Lakshadeep are among major states having the largest share of Hajj quota.

The air travel arrangements for Hajj Pilgrims going for Hajj through the Hajj Committee of India are made by Ministry of Civil Aviation. The arrangements for Hajj 2009 were made through Air India, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SV) and National Private Air Services Company Limited (National Air Services) NAS.

During the Hajj season, a separate area is reserved for pilgrimage flights by all airlines to Middle East at Indra Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi.

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