Three of the 25 embarkation ports for this year’s pilgrimage, which are located in Kerala, were notified by the Ministry of Minority Affairs along with a revised Hajj policy.
There are three embarkation points in the state: Kochi, Kozhikode, and Kannur. Srinagar, Ranchi, Gaya, Guwahati, Indore, Bhopal, Mangalore, Goa, Aurangabad, Varanasi, Jaipur, Nagpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Vijayawada, and Agartala are the other entry places in the nation.
The ministry said that this year’s application forms will be free in an effort to assist the pilgrims financially.
The money that was deposited with the Hajj Committee for foreign exchange and products like umbrellas, luggage, and bed sheets would not be charged, and these things can be arranged by the pilgrims themselves, sources added, resulting in a reduction in the cost of the Hajj package of about Rs 50,000.
The VIP quota has been eliminated in accordance with the most recent Hajj policy. Additionally, the Hajj Committee of India will receive 80% of the total quota, with the remaining 20% going to commercial operators.
‘Applicants who have previously completed the Hajj through the Hajj Committee of India will not be accepted. Repeaters will be permitted with the payment of additional fees for ‘Mehram’ (companions) for lady pilgrims and for companions accompanying pilgrims above the age of 70.
Women pilgrims and people over 70 who use a repeater as ‘Mehram’ must make a solemn declaration and commitment that no one in the family is a first-time ‘Mehram.’
The Hajj application forms can be downloaded from the Hajj Committee of India website at Hajjcommittee.gov.in or obtained for free from state and union territory Hajj committees. They can also be accessed via the Android mobile application ‘Hajj COMMITTEE OF INDIA’ that is available on the Play Store.
The new Hajj regulation allows women over 45 who want to perform the hajj but lack a male ‘Mehram’ and their school of thought (Maslak) permits to travel in groups of four or more.