Amidst perceptible excitement, the first batch of pilgrims from the State embarked on their Hajj pilgrimage on a specially chartered plane from Mangalore Airport on Friday.

The departure of 220 people from across the State, who had registered in various Hajj camps, marks the start of the season which will see 6,800 people fly on Government subsidy. The pilgrims will leave from four airports – Bangalore, Mangalore, Hyderabad and Goa – with Mangalore airport itself expecting 1,035 passengers heading towards Mecca.

The contingent consisted relatives, well-wishers as well as Ministers and MLAs. The pilgrims gathered at the temporary Hajj camp set up at the old Bajpe Airport from where they were ferried into the new Terminal in a bus flagged off by State Hajj Minister S.K. Belubbi. “I wish you all a safe journey, and I hope God listens to our prayers to reduce the effects of drought in the State,” said the Minister.

He added that after the construction of Hajj Bhavan in Bangalore, similar Bhavans would be constructed in Mangalore and other major cities in the State. This would make it easy for pilgrims to access the Government scheme.

R. Abdul Riyaz Khan, Chairman, Karnataka State Wakf Board, oversaw the preparations made for the pilgrims, while MLAs U.T. Khader, Ramanath Rai, and Abhaychandra Jain were present to bid the pilgrims a safe journey.

Keywords: Hajj pilgrimage

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