There was a time when performing Haj was not so expensive. I am talking of course of middle-class people like myself. The poor people of course used to spend their lifetime savings to go to the Holy Land. Now it is impossible for them.

I performed Haj in 2005. It cost the three of us Rs. 300,000 (meaning that the per person cost was Rs. 100,000). Two years later it had tripled, with some of my relatives spending Rs. 300,000 each. Today the cost is probably Rs. 1,500,000 for a person like me (five night's stay in Madina at Move n Pick, and 10 day's stay in a hotel (like Makkah Hotel) near the Holy Kaaba. A person earning less than Rs. 200,000 p.m. cannot even think of performing Haj (unless of course he's single and doesn't have to support his parents and siblings).

The problem of course is the falling value of the rupee. This is something the common man can't control. Another reason is the very high cost of accommodation in the Holy Land. There was a time when one could get a room or an apartment for rent but that meant walking a long distance to the Holy Mosques. Now all residential buildings near the Holy Mosques have been demolished and it would be impossible to find a room within five kilometers distance from the Holy Mosques. So it looks like only the filthy rich people will be able to perform Haj in future.