Travel to Makkah for Umrah Part 2

| April 13, 2014 | Comments (0)
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Here you can see my Travel story to makkah for umrah part 1

After I submitted my passport to the travel agent, they informed me about the entire Umrah visa processing drill. Part of it was accessing an online system provided by the Saudi Government. What the agents will do is add my personal and family details in it, which can take up to 3 to 4 working days to get approved. Once we had the approval from online system, we would have to submit our passport to Saudi Embassy and Embassy could take up to 1 week to issue visa. So, I was in touch with Travel agent and he was constantly updating me with the application status and one day, he told that I’ll get my Visa on 15th of January.

Visa issued and I received my passport

I called them on 13- Jan to know the status of Visa, they told me that my passport has arrived and you can collect it along with tickets.

What you need to bring while you are traveling to Makkah

Although there are some common items you need to bagpack while traveling to Makkah that include cloths and other necessary items. The important thing to check is the weather conditions in time you plan to travel. As we were traveling in January, we checked weather online and found that Makkah had a max temperature of 30 degree Celsius and Madinah had 25 degree Celsius max.

List of Necessary items one willneed to bring along them:

1)      Ahram
2)      Kanchi Chapal
3)      Take your clothes as per your stay in Makkah/Madina
4)      If you are travelling with Group, always take a bag to keep your passport/ticket in it and make sure before you travel to Makkah/Madina, you must have passport copies at home and one copy with you, in case of any emergency or passport being misplaced, you must have passport copy and visa copy with you to handle the situation.

So, we hadour bag packing done and were all set for the flight on 23-jan -2014. Our departure time was  8:40 pm and were traveling through Saudi Airline. Keeping in mind that we had an international flight to catch, we reached airport 5:30pm sharp. My advice here to everyone reading is to always reach the airport 3 hours before your international flight departure time. Once I reached the airport, I joined the  queue for boarding/Immigration and got free after 1 and half hour. From there, I waited for almost 1 and half hour in the Airport lounge for flight departure.

Wearing Ahram onthe Airport

As, I was watching a number of people changing their regular attire by wearing Aharam on the airport, I decided to do so as well. Though, we do have an option to wear Ahram either at the airport or on flight. My choice for doing so was because they don’t make an announcement during flight to wear Aharam and if they do, there are isn’t much space to wear Ahram in plane in a proper way. So my suggestion, wear it from Airport mosque if you have a direct flight.

Arrived at Jeddah Airport

We had our flight scheduled to Jeddah via Riyadh and we landed Jeddah around 1:45AM local time.

Reaching at Airport, the officials asked us to wait in some hall, as there were few other people from the same flight in Queue for immigration. So, we waited for some time there and in a while were called for final immigration and were allowed to enter Saudi Arabia. If you are traveling for the first time to Makkah, you have to be there with with a lot of patience as, lot of flights are there and it takes some time to clear the immigration at Jeddah airport.

After our immigration, we took our luggage and came out of Airport, Right outside the airport there are few personal who check every person’s passport to see which company/agency/group has issued visa to them and who will be allowed to go to Makkah etc. Those agents also take the passport from you so no need to worry about it.

As we have had booked our hotel ourselves and did not avail any other facility from the agent, therefore we asked him to arrange a taxi for us since we had kids with us. The guy told us that we can grab a taxi but that would cost us a few Saudi Riyal but if we were to take a bus, it would be free, choice was ours.

Finding Taxi in Jeddah Airport is a milestone.

That agent called a taxi guy and he said, he will charge us 350 Saudi Riyal to take us to Makkah. As, I was aware that I can get taxi in about 150 to 200 Riyals but he insisted on SR 350 because he had a GMC. Here, my advice to all the people traveling with kids from Jeddah to Makkah is that it is fine that you travel in taxi since you have kids, but do make sure the drivers charge you the reasonable amount according to the car they have. As I after some struggle, found a driver with Toyota Camry who took SR 300 to take us from Jedda to Makkah.

My brother travelling on the other hand

As my brother was traveling from London to Jeddah, he arrived at Jeddah International Terminal and we were in Jeddah Hajj Terminal. He took a taxi from there in just SR 150 and reached hotel near 4 AM Local time.

Arriving at Makkah

The distance from Jeddah to Makkah is about 90 KM and it took us 1 hour or more as Arab drivers drive very fast and he dropped us right in front of the hotel entrance. We checked in our hotel and after having breakfast, we wanted to go to perform our Umrah. Meanwhile, my brother had already performed his Umrah.

My First View of Khaana Kaaba aDSC00044

When I saw the khana kaaba for the first time, it was really an unbelievable moment of my life, as I had seen Kaaba in pictures before but what a really amazing surprise and heart touching moment it was the at I had. And my instant reaction just after seeing was that I started praying.

Performing Umrah.

For Umrah, you have to take 7 revolutions of Kaaba and then perform 2 Nafal in Mokharm §Ibrahim and then have to go for Sahi, at Safa Marva

To start the first Revolution, there is a green light intended for you to start and it is on same direction where Hajar-e-Aswad is. So my family/dad/kids started our first tawaf. Somehow, after our first chaker, I lost my contact with them. As we were new there and did not know about all this so it was really hard to find them again.

How to find someone when you loose them
There are two ways if to find someone if your’e are traveling , if both parties have phone or they have decided to meet up after every chakerat some point. So, I have completed my chaker and then went for Sahi, Safa Marva Chaker. When I was doing my 5th chakar in Safah Marva , I saw my family and found them there and then completed my remaining chakkars.

Aab-e- zem zem

While performing Sahi in Safa Marva, there is un-ending Aab-e- Zamzam and you can drink that.After performing the Sahi, there was Jumah Prayer Azaan, we stayed there at same place and offered Jummah.

After jumah, now we are out of Haram and finding some barberto complete one of the Sunnah to remove hair from head. We found few guys and bring us in Clock Tower basement whom we payed SR 10 per hair cut.

Part 3 coming soon

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Category: Guidelines on performing Umrah

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