Haj sales increase in Srinagar

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Srinagar, Oct 29 : The sale of religious products here has increased as people prepare for 'Haj' pilgrimage to Mecca.

The date of the pilgrimage keeps on changing every year depending on the date of Eid-ul-Fitr. This year the event is slated for December 6 - December 9. The annual pilgrimage needs lots of preparations.

With shoppers thronging the markets to buy ihram (men's and women's garments worn during the Haj pilgrimage), various accessories like belts and purses, slippers, books related to Haj, the shopkeepers are doing a great business.

"We give them ihram, slippers, mats and all the necessary things. We even provide them information books. I have been working for past 20 years," said Mohammed Shaban, a shopkeeper.

The sales escalate from ten thousand to almost forty thousand rupees during this shopping spree.

"Their business increases a lot. Earlier, they used to sell products worth 10,000 rupees now they make around rupees 40,000 rupees," said Manzoor Ahmad, a Haj pilgrim.

The Haj involves weeklong celebrations and takes place nearly seventy days after the end of the holy month of Ramadan. It includes several ceremonies symbolising the essential concepts of the Islamic faith.

Mecca is the place where Prophet Mohammed propagated Islam.

Millions of pilgrims undertake the journey each year from all over the world. By Afzal Bhat

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