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First batch of Haj pilgrims from Telangana leave
Sunday September 14, 2014 6:29 PM, IANS

The first batch of Haj pilgrims from Telangana left for Jeddah Sunday.

A Saudi Airlines flight carrying 350 pilgrims took off at 11.30 a.m. from the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamsabad.

Earlier, Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali flagged off the buses carrying the pilgrims at the Haj House at Nampally in the heart of the city.

Clad in 'Ihram' or special white clothing for Haj and amid chanting of prayers, the pilgrims boarded the buses after completing customs, luggage and immigration formalities.

Emotional scenes were witnessed at the Haj House as relatives of pilgrims and well wishers bid adieu to them with request to pray for them at the holy places.

This is the first Haj after the formation of the Telangana state. About 6,000 pilgrims from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka are leaving for Haj by 18 flights of Saudi Airlines to be operated till Sep 22.

Over 400 pilgrims from Chittoor and Anatapur districts of Andhra Pradesh will fly from Bangalore.

Over 1.36 lakh Indians will perform Haj this year. The Haj rituals begin in the first week of October.

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