Najaf to Karbala Walking Guide

Last Updated on 25th September, 2022

 

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Arba'een 2023 (1445 A.H.) is expected on 6th September, 2023 (Wednesday)

Latest Updates About This Year's Walk/Iraq Visa Policies etc on Facebook Page

Western WC Washrooms List (Latest)

Expected Temperature during the Arbaeen Walk 2023 will be between 27C to 45C (i.e. between 80F to 113F). It can feel even hotter due to the deserted area that surrounds the Najaf/Karbala highway.

2023 Suggestions: The temperature is very hot in Najaf/Karbala, reaching up to 45C. The walk has to be planned accordingly. Adequate rest during the day will ensure and allow people to cover the distance during the night - Usually, the hottest hours are between 9am to 3pm. People who can walk at night do prefer to rest between 7am to 5pm as well. Make sure to keep drinking a sip of water, not to get yourself dehydrated while walking during the day. Cover the time lost during the day by walking during the nights..! Arbaeen's walk dynamics are changing and it is going to be night-time walk in years to come.
Labbayk Ya Hussain (AS).

Approx Prayer times during Walk (1st to 3rd September, 2023):
Fajar: 4:20 AM till 5:25 AM
Dhuhr: 12:10 PM
Maghrib: 6:37 PM

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Temperature in Iraq is getting hotter each year. Most people prefer to rest between 10am to 2pm, 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. The walking guide has been updated for hot weathers, please check below. Contact us on WhatsApp, if you still have any questions. JazakAllah.



NajafToKarbala
@NajafToKarbala5


WALKING GUIDE

 

Details:

Total Distance

80 km

Total Number of Poles

Najaf Poles: 182 // Karbala Poles: 1452

Distance Between Each Poles

50 meters [20 Poles = 1 km]

Approx. Walking Time Required

23 to 27 hours (Increased in the past few years due to hot weather)

Estimated Time to Reach the Destination

3-4 Days

Preferred Start Time

15th Safar [1st September, 2023] - Ideally, on the eve of 15th Safar after Dinner and Ziyarat-e-Wida - Around 11pm-12pm

Expected Completion Time (InshaAllah)

17th Safar [3rd September, 2023] - Late Night/Early hours of 18th Safar, InShaAllah

Who Can Do This?

Anyone (Male/Female/Families)

 

Directions:

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 98.1 km from Kufa to Karbala via Hindiyah. This route was more popular during the Saddam (LA) era, when the walk was restricted by the regime of Saddam Hussein (LA), 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:

Karbala Poles Starts After

9-10 km approx.

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

Checkpost

Pole # 1237

Al Ameed University (Formerly Imam Ali (A.S) City)

Pole # 1399

Moukkab by Our Turkish Brothers

Pole # 1252

Ministry of Import/Export - Office

Pole # 1285

Checking Checkpost - Entrance of Karbala

Pole # 1294

[Optional Shortcut] Turn Right - The same pole numbers will continue on this route as well - After about 4.5 kms, original pole numbers 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 # 1452

End of Poles // Poles 1432 to 1452 has been temporarily removed due to the expansion of the road. So, the last pole number you'll currently see is 1432 and the haram is 500 meters from here, as these poles were closer to each other (25 meters distance between them)

25 Meters

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

   

Recommended Stops/Milestones:

  • Preferably don't stop before the Karbala poles' starts.
  • Try to spend the 1st Night in any Moukkab somewhere between Pole # 250 to 450. 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 # 750 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 an hour or two before Zohar and try to find a comfortable place to stay for yourself and the people accompanying you. Quite a few camps (with AC/Air Cooler) got full by Zohar till 2pm - So, ensure you stop before Zohar and have already found a reasonable place to spend the hottest hours - 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 3-4 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 Arba'een. The weather is expected to be reasonably hot, 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/4th 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 in both English & Arabic.
  • (Update: The situation has improved in the last few years or so and the calls do get connected most of the times. You can use GPRS for internet connectivity but that only work for an hour or so before Fajar. 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.)/Moukkab Abil Fazlil Abbas (AS) (Pakistani)

Pole # 212

Moukkab Aimmatul Baqi/Pakistan Medical Team

Pole # 327, 425, 448, 536, 655, 709, 777 & 820

Various Moukkabs By Our Indian Brothers

Pole # 470

Moukkab Zahra Trust (U.K.)

Pole # 596

Moukkab by our brothers from Thailand

Pole # 602

Moukkab Aal-e-Fakhruddin

Pole # 510, 648, 650, 799, 991, 1045, 1071, 1195

Various Moukkabs by our Lebanese Brothers

Pole # 72, 95, 172, 212, 313, 364, 386, 472, 477, 594, 892, 1010, 1086, 1176, 1397

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

Pole # 822

Moukkab for Repairing of Wheelchair/Stroller, Shoes, Bags, Glasses & Mobile Phones

Pole # 892

Hussainiya Fatima - Under the supervision of Grand Ayatullah Saeed Al-Hakim

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 # 1013 Moukkab By Government Of Kuwait

Pole # 1237

Al Ameed University - Managed by Administration of Haram e Hazrat Abbas (A.S) - Formerly Imam Ali (AS) City

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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