Najaf to Karbala Walking Guide

Last Updated on 31st October, 2018


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Arba'een 2019 (1441 A.H.) is expected on 20th October, 2019 (SUNDAY)

Expected Temperature during the Arbaeen Walk 2019 will be between 14C to 36C (i.e. between 57F to 98F)

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Don't take too much apparels for cold, as the weather in Iraq isn't as cold as in the past years. Most people prefer to rest between 11am to 1pm, as the temperature raises in the afternoon and walk few hours after Maghreb at night. You can adjust accordingly and as per your convenience in coming years. Contact us, if you have any questions. JazakAllah.


Download the Guide as a PDF | DOC | Urdu PDF/InPage




Total Distance

80 Km

Total Number of Poles

1452 Poles

Distance Between Each Poles

50 meters [20 Poles = 1 Km]

Approx. Walking Time Required

18 to 25 hours

Estimated Time to Reach the Destination

2-3 Days

Preferred Start Time

16th Safar [16th October, 2019] - After Fajr

Expected Completion Time (InshaAllah)

18th Safar [18th October, 2019] - Before Maghreb

Who Can Do This?

Anyone (Male/Female/Families)



Take an Exit from Imam Ali (A.S) Haram from Bab-e-Tousi (Opposite to Bab-e-Qibla) and start walking straight on Shahra-e-Tousi - After about 500 meters, Wadi-us-Salam Cemetry will start - Keep walking straight and you will eventually get to the Highway (on the right), turn left, where hundreds of thousands of people will be walking towards Karbala - Join them and you will reach the Haram of Hazrat Abbas (A.S) after about 70 Km at Pole # 1452.

Route # 2 - Directions from Kufa via Hindiyah to Karbala [People Starting their walk from Mosque of Kufa]: You can start walking towards Masjid-e-Sehla. There is a route from back of Masjid-e-Sehla, This road runs parallel to the Najaf-Karbala Highway, most people walk on. This route is usually cooler during hot days, as it runs alongside the River Furaat. This route is longer and is about 86Km from Kufa to Karbala via Hindiyah. This route was more popular during the Saddam era, when the walk was restricted by the regime of Saddam Hussein, as this route runs through the villages and isn't a proper route to be caught on and persecuted. - Route Map

View Larger Map


Landmarks (Poles) - Pole Numbers are mentioned along the road from Najaf to Karbala on every Pole:

Poles Starts After

10 Km.

Pole # 1

Ministry Office on Left side of the Road

Pole # 345

Concrete Walls - Temporary Checkpost

Pole # 578

City of Haidariya - Haidariya Hospital

Pole # 647

Proper Permanent Washrooms

Pole # 960

Large Checkposts

Pole # 1183


Pole # 1237

Imam Ali (A.S) City - Washrooms, Mosque, Rest Area etc.

Pole # 1252

Ministry of Import/Export - Office

Pole # 1285

Checking Checkpost - Entrance of Karbala

Pole # 1294

[Optional Shortcut] Turn Right - After about 4.5 Kms - Original Poles will again start from 1407

Pole # 1407

First Sight to Roza-e-Hazrat Abbas (A.S) - People who Have Turn Right at 1294 will Join here (Note: Remove your Shoes in Respect to Haram)

Pole # 1378

Al-Kafeel Hospital [Managed by Administration of Haram e Hazrat Abbas (A.S)]

Pole # 1451

Medical Camp in Karbala by Haram-e-Imam Abbas(A.S) & Our Pakistani Brothers

Pole # 1452

End of Poles

25 Meters

Bab-e-Qibla - Roza-e-Hazrat Abbas (A.S)


Recommended Stops/Milestones:

  • Keep on walking until the poles start - Preferably don't stop before the poles' starts.
  • Try to spend the 1st Night in any Moukkab somewhere between Pole # 320 to 480. Only walk as much as your body allows you, don't overstretch yourself! Every body is different from the other!
  • Try to spend the 2nd Night in any Moukkab somewhere between Pole # 840 to 1100.
  • You should take stops after every 100 or so poles to re-group with family/friends and take a rest of 10-15 minutes to allow your muscles to ease up.


Walking Notes:

  • Update: Start walking after Salat'ul-Layl (Namaz-e-Shab) i.e approximately an hour or two before Fajr prayers, as that will be the BEST time to cover the distance with the fastest possible speed, as you would be fresh, your muscles have eased up overnight, as well as the walking track won't have too much people walking on it and you can adjust your walking speed as per your liking - it will also feel good to walk with a slight cold just before Dawn. 
  • Don't over-stretch yourself during the walk. Take a rest, when required.
  • Update: Stop walking about 40-50 minutes before Maghrib and try to find a comfortable place to stay for yourself and the people accompanying you. Quite a few camps got full by Maghrib - So, ensure you stop before Maghrib and have already found a reasonable place to spend the night - There are thousands of Moukkabs throughout the route, so you don't have to worry much.


Belongings' Notes:

  • Try not to get too much weight with you. Don't take anything to eat or drink, there is already too much on the way.
  • Take any regular medicines that would be required during the 2-3 days' walk.
  • Prefer a lightweight backpack instead of a shopping bag to carry stuff during your journey.
  • Seasonal: Update: Please check out the expected temperature for the next Arba'een. The weather is expected to be reasonably warm, this Arba'een - unlike last years! Do check the weather forecast before packing up your bags to avoid carrying unnecessary apparel's weight.
  • Any suitable cream for rashes. Important Update: Corn flour is ideal for immediate relief in rashes. Just spread it generously at the place of burning. It can be applied in advance to prevent rashes as well. Can be used at any place, as long as it isn't an open wound - pretty safe!!
  • You can get a small pocket Quran/Duas/Ziyarat or put them in your mobile (if possible) to pass your time while walking.
  • Don't wear new shoes - Try to wear something comfortable, that you can walk with. Click here to read more about Preventing Blisters.
  • Passport, Mobile Charger (if you are carrying a mobile).


Important Notes:

  • You don't have to worry much about doing it completely. If you ever think, that you cannot continue at any point, you can take a van to reach Karbala, there are hundreds everywhere. An average male/female above the age of 10 years is 99.99% likely to complete it on the 3rd day without any issues. You should at least give it a try - it is definitely worth it!!
  • Make sure you know the name of the Hotel; you are intended to stay in Karbala.
  • (Update: The situation has improved in the last few years or so and the calls do get connected after few tries). You can use AsiaCell's GPRS to communicate during the walk as well but it isn't too reliable. Other network's GPRS works even more unreliably. Also, there are some WIFI Moukkabs but those aren't too reliable either and only works randomly sometimes.

  • For Common Terminologies in English, Arabic and Urdu - 1 | 2 NEW!!


Landmarks/Re-Grouping Stops:

Western Washrooms (Commode) Click here for the List of Pole Numbers and Moukkab Names

Pole # 72

Moukkab Aal-e Abi-Talib (A.S.)

Pole # 237, 327, 413, 448, 458, 709, 777 & 820, 974

Various Moukkabs By Our Indian Brothers

Pole # 470

Moukkab Zahra Trust (U.K.)

Pole # 602

Moukkab Aal-e-Fakhruddin

Pole # 795

Moukkab Muzeef-al-Hussain (A.S.)

Pole # 72, 172, 270, 464, 477, 594, 892, 1040, 1086, 1397, 1451

Various Moukkabs By Our Pakistani Brothers (Preventing Blisters | Blisters Treatement | Blisters Guide)

Pole # 1062

Imam Hassan (A.S.) City - Managed by Administration of Haram e Imam Hussain (A.S)

Pole # 1102 Muzeef al Imam Al-Abbas (A.S.)
Pole # 1169 Moukkab By Government Of Kuwait

Pole # 1237

University - Managed by Administration of Haram e Hazrat Abbas (A.S)

Note: There are literally thousands of Moukkab (Camps/Buildings) and you can stay anywhere, you want - this detail is just handy, if you are travelling with family/friends to set a re-grouping point.

Kamil-uz-Ziyaraat (Chapter 43): Ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.) is obligatory on All

Tradition 1: Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Order our Shia to perform the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.), because it is obligatory on every believer who testifies that Husain (a.s.) is an Imam appointed by Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.

Tradition 2: Imam Reza (a.s.) said: There is a binding contract on every Shia and follower towards him Imam and the most perfect and beautiful way to fulfill this contract is to perform the Ziyarat of the grave of that Imam.
On Judgment Day, Imam (a.s.) will intercede for one who performs his Ziyarat with longing and believe in that which he has been ordered to believe.

Tradition 4: Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Even if you go to Hajj every year but don't perform the Ziyarat of Imam Husain (a.s.), you have abandoned one of your obligations towards Allah and His messenger, because the right of Imam Husain (a.s.) is made obligatory on every Muslim by the Almighty Allah.

Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq(A.S) About Ziyarat-e-Imam Hussain(A.S):

  1. When the visitor leaves the house, each and every spot that he steps on, prays for him. (Behaarul Anwar, vol 101, pg 15, tradition 14)
  2. When the rays of the sun fall on the visitor of Imam's (a.s.) shrines, it consumes his sins like the fire consumes wooden sticks. The sun does not leave any sin on his body and he returns home sinless. In fact on his return he is granted a status that is not even given to those who shed their blood in Allah's path. (Behaarul Anwar, vol 101, pg 15, tradition 14; Kamiluz Ziaraat, pg 298)
  3. When a Shia knows Imam Hussain's (a.s.) right over the people and leaves his house for Imam's (a.s.) ziarat in this condition, without any pride and conceit, then a 1,000 angels accompany him from the right, with another 1,000 angels on the left. And he will be rewarded as if he has performed 1,000 Hajj and 1,000 Umrah with a prophet or with the successor (wasi) of a prophet. (Behaarul Anwar, vol 101, pg 91, tradition 33)
  4. 'If one of our Shia goes for Imam Hussain's (a.s.) Ziarat, then he will not return but all his sins will be forgiven. For every step that he or his mount takes, 1,000 virtues are written for him, 1,000 sins are forgiven and his status is elevated by 1,000 degrees.' (Behaarul Anwar, vol 101, pg 25, tradition 26; Kamiluz Ziaraat, pg 134)

Check out a short video documenting the walk undertaken by millions of people each year to Karbala in Iraq, to the shrine of Imam Hussain (AS)


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