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Bhatkal: The first batch of Hajj pilgrims of Bhatkal, based on 70 people, departed from Bhatkal on Friday for the holy journey. It was a spectacular scene at the Bhatkal railway station where hundreds of people had gathered to bid farewell to their near and dear ones. The caravan departed from Bhatkal on 21st evening by the Matsyiaganda Express to Mumbai, and then flew to Jeddah on 23rd September by Air India. Meanwhile, the second batch consisting of 30 pilgrims would be leaving from Bhatkal on 30th of September.
All these pilgrims have got their Haj packages through a private travel agency.
Around another 150 people from Bhatkal will be performing Hajj this year through another private travel agency whose departure will before 10 October. While 96 pilgrims will be performing Hajj through Govt quota this year.
According to the sources, every year certain numbers of Hajj pilgrims are allocated through the Government quota, and this year the number was 134 for the Uttar Kannada district. Among them, 96 pilgrims are from Bhatkal. It is said that All these 96 people will be departing from the Goa Airport on 7th, 8th and 9th of October.
It should be noted that Prior to this year, the government quota pilgrims would to Jeddah leave from the Mangalore Airport, but this year it is known that the Goa Airport has been fixed for the same.