Indian Haj pilgrims travel from Jeddah to Makkah in high-speed train for first time | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Indian Haj pilgrims travel from Jeddah to Makkah in high-speed train for first time

May 26, 2024 09:12 PM IST

Indian ambassador Suhel Ajaz Khan said this is not only a first for Indian pilgrims but also an inaugural experience for Saudi authorities in transporting Hajis by train directly from Jeddah airport to Makkah

The Indian pilgrims performing the Haj this year will be able to travel from Jeddah airport to Makkah in high-speed trains for the first time, ensuring a more comfortable journey and cutting the travel time by half.

The first group of pilgrims to travel in the train were escorted by Indian ambassador Suhel Ajaz Khan and consul general Mohammed Shahid Alam. (Indian embassy)
The first group of pilgrims to travel in the train were escorted by Indian ambassador Suhel Ajaz Khan and consul general Mohammed Shahid Alam. (Indian embassy)

Traditionally, all Indian pilgrims performing Haj have travelled from Jeddah airport to Makkah in buses provided by Saudi authorities. Special arrangements were made this year by the Indian consulate general in Jeddah and Saudi authorities for some Indian pilgrims to travel in the high-speed Harmain Train. The highest speed achieved by the train is about 300 kmph.

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About 32,000 Indian pilgrims will be able to use this exclusive service, the Indian embassy said in a statement. “This will make their journey very comfortable and will reduce the travel time from Jeddah to Makkah by half,” the statement said.

“In a historic first, #IndianHajPilgrims, who arrived at the Jeddah airport today, travelled to Mecca by high-speed Haramain Train instead of buses,” the Indian embassy said in a post on X on Sunday.

The first group of pilgrims to travel in the train were escorted by Indian ambassador Suhel Ajaz Khan and consul general Mohammed Shahid Alam. They were accompanied by the vice president of Saudi Arabian Railways, Eng Al Harbi, and officials from Saudi Arabia’s ministry of Haj and ministry of transport. The pilgrims had arrived on a Saudia Air flight from Mumbai.

“This is not only a first for Indian pilgrims but also an inaugural experience for Saudi authorities in transporting Hajis by train directly from Jeddah airport to Makkah,” said Khan.

Indian authorities have been making efforts every year to make the Haj pilgrimage more comfortable and hassle-free.

This year, a total of 175,000 pilgrims from India will perform the Haj. Of these, 140,000 are travelling through the Haj committee of India.

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