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Home > Travel > Destinations > Your guide to planning Hajj: When to go, how to reach and more
Your guide to planning Hajj: When to go, how to reach and more

Every year, lakhs of Muslim pilgrims visit the holy sites of Makkah (Mecca) and Madinah (Medina). A majority of these plan during Hajj, the annual pilgrimage which is the holiest of times to visit the mosque there. And in case you are planning the hajj pilgrim 2022 but don’t know where to begin, we’ve curated the only guide you’ll need!

What is a Hajj?

Hajj is among the five pillars of Islam, and is the pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah that adult Muslims must take at least once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage begins on the seventh day of the last month of the Islamic year, and ends on the 12th day. The pilgrimage was halted due to the pandemic and has resumed after two years. The dates for this year’s Hajj are July 7 to July 12.

 

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All physically and financially able Muslims must make the trip at least once, unless their absence causes trouble in the family – financial hardships or otherwise. In such cases, they can request a relative or a friend to stand in for them as a proxy, according to Britannica. The trip, when conducted just to please Allah, is said to purify the pilgrims of all previous sins and can help them attain paradise (jannat).

Is Hajj different from Umrah?

Both Hajj and Umrah are pilgrimages to the holy city of Makkah, where Prophet Mohammed was born and where the teachings of the Quran were first revealed. However, while Hajj happens only during a specific time (i.e. the last month of the Islamic calendar), Umrah can can be done year-round.

Planning a Hajj pilgrimage

When to go

Hajj starts from the seventh to the 12th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah, i.e. the last month of the Islamic calendar. This year, the dates are July 7 till July 12.

What does the preparation for Hajj includes?

It’s important to have all your documents – your Hajj visa, passport, ihram clothes and other necessities in place before you plan your trip. Essential religious supplies, such as a Quran, prayer mat and a seven-bead counter are also necessary, and these can also be bought online or from shops in the region.

Moreover, be sure to get all information about the health protocols, especially during the pandemic times such as now. Be mindful of the weather conditions and prepare for the trip accordingly with the right clothes and gear – sun protection, water and more. Further, be mindful of your physical fitness and ensure that you build up to optimal levels for the same before you travel, since the pilgrimage requires ample walking under the hot sun.

Booking tickets and hotels

International travellers cannot book tickets on their own to Jeddah, the airport closest to Makkah. They need to book their travel via travel operators authorised by the Saudi government to be able to make the pilgrimage. You can then book your flights to Jeddah, from where you can opt for buses or taxis to take you to Makkah.

In India, the pilgrims who can go to Hajj are chosen by the Central Hajj Committee and this year, a total of 56,637 pilgrims have been chosen. However, the rules were changed for pilgrims travelling from the USA, Europe and Australia last month. According to The Gaurdian, travellers from these regions could not book through the travel agencies and had to apply to a lottery system.

You can book stays for all budgets – from luxury hotels to service apartments and more – to ensure you find something in your budget that suits all your needs.

Transportation for your Hajj pilgrimage

Makkah has a lot of options available for commuters. Having a well-connected network of roads, you can opt for buses, taxis, cars and more, to make your commute easier. If not, you can also walk around the areas as the streets are pedestrian-friendly.

Useful links

Check out the below links to make your Hajj trip comfortable, make bookings easier, and be prepared for anything and everything that may come up.

Book your Hajj Trip here

Book your trip here

Check out Hajj packages here

Check out hotels on Booking.com

Check out hotels on Agoda

Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy of Konevi/Pexels

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: How much does the Hajj pilgrim cost?

Answer: Hajj packages can start anywhere around INR 3,00,000 and go up to INR 10,00,000 and more.

Question: How long is Hajj?

Answer: Five days, as the trip has to be taken from the seventh till the 12th day of the last month of the Islamic calendar. The 10th day (Day 3 of the trip) is Eid Al Adha.

Question: Can women go alone for Hajj?

Answer: Yes, women are now allowed to go for Hajj alone without a mehram (male relative), provided that they are part of a group that is undertaking the pilgrimage.

Anushka Goel
Anushka likes to spend her time reading, scrolling through Instagram for some travel inspiration or looking after her plants. She loves reading about the latest skincare and makeup but tries to make mindful choices and live sustainably.
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