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Historical Amazing Photos of Hajj 1953/1954


  • Take a glimpse of how it was like to perform Hajj in 50's and compare with current Hajj.
  • Though this was only just over 65 years ago, a lot has changed mainly due to the increase in the number of pilgrims going to perform Hajj. Lots of construction to facilitate more persons and persons with special needs are in progress.
  • Vision 2030: Vision 2030 includes a strategic and comprehensive plan to develop the sector so as to allow the largest number of Muslims possible to perform Haj and Umrah.

Journey via a Ferry or a Ship:

Most of pilgrims used to travel to Makkah via a ferry or a ship. In those days commercial air travel was still in its early stages and it was not as widely available and affordable as it is today.

Journey on small planes from nearby countries:

For those who could afford it, they would embark on their journey on board small planes from nearby countries.

  Buses to transport Pilgrims:

Like today, buses were avaiable to transport pilgrims from place to place. There were no AC in buses at that time.

Muslims Only Area:

Muslims were only allowed to enter the places to perform Hajj, same as today.

Homes and Hotels across Kaba and Masjid al-Haram:

Homes and hotels can be seen outside of The Great Mosque of Mecca, also called the Grand Mosque's perimeter. Much of these historical buildings are demolished now to make way for the Mosque’s expansion. This was done to accomodate more Hajjis.

A Street in Makkah:

A busy street in Makkah. An Ottoman style minaret can be seen.

One of the entrances to the Masjid Al Haram.:

One of the entrances to the Masjid Al Haram. This seems quite different what we see today.

Prayer outside Masjid Al Haram.:

Worshippers outside the Mosque’s entrance.

Inside of Masjid Al Haram.:

The Ka’ba and the Mataf area. There were no other floors back then.

Ka’ba in 1954 - a closer view:

A close up view of the Ka’ba in 1954.

Ka’ba Door:

Hajjees and Muslim Worshippers were able to enter the Ka’ba.


Performing Tawaf was easier as it was not as crowded as it is today.

Markets and stalls:

Markets and stalls near the Masjid Al Haram.

Markets and stalls:

Markets and stalls near the Masjid Al Haram.

Markets and stalls - Shisha Shop:

Markets and stalls near the Masjid Al Haram.

Horse and carriage:

Horse and carriage were used as a means of transport, instead of Cab or Vans. It was women-in-veil's preferable transport.

Udhiyyah/Qurbani Animals:

Pilgrims were able to choose the animals they wanted for Udhiyyah/Qurbani.

Pilgrims and Udhiyyah/Qurbani Animals:

Pilgrims used to keep their livestock with them during their Hajj.

Carcasses of Sacrificial Animals:

Donkeys were used to transport carcasses of sacrificial animals.

Mina Camps and Cooking:

In Mina, food would be cooked using fire and stove.

Praying in Mina Camps:

Pilgrims praying near their camels and staying togather with camels in 1954.

Pilgrims in Arafah:

Tents can be seen pitched in Arafah next to mount Arafah.

The Jamarat:

The Jamarat used to be small pillars which would be stoned symbolising stoning of the devil. Jamrat current figure is completely different and modernised due to stampedes and record casualties.

Pilgrims shave during Hajj:

A pilgrim has his hair shaved.

Pilgrims in record hot weather:
Pilgrims keep themselves cool by drinking ice cold fizzy drinks.

Photos courtesy of the National Geographic Magazine