Before we went, we were told so many stories about him and about how it's a right of passage for young boys to go on a trip there with a male relative when they're six or seven. In Shaa'ban, the month before Ramadan, the entire city of Tarim makes a zeyara (trip) to his grave, and spends up to a week there; the men go one week, the women another. And when the men come back, the women greet them dressed up, with henna on their hands to celebrate their safe arrival. Basically, it's a big ritual to honor the Prophet Hud. It's a trip that one prepares for and is not an easy one to make—there's even an intention specifically written in al-Habib Muhammad (Sa'ad) bin 'Alawi al-'Aidrus's Book of Intentions for those who want to visit the grave.
Prophet Hud's grave is located up a mountain, since that is where he died. It's said that his qawm (people) were chasing him, and the mountain cracked open for him (you can actually see the crack). He entered the mountain and stayed there until he died. This is the view from the top of the mountain:
It is said that Prophet Hud and his people were giants, and from how tall his body is, that definitely seems to be the case. Directly underneath the dome is where his head is located, and his body extends all the way out of the dome. It ends at the white stone:
After we finished our ziyara we walked down the mountain to a shaded alcove and had our breakfast there. The view from there is stunning, and it truly felt like a picnic. Next, we made our way over to the river which runs directly underneath the mountain—one of Prophet Hud's miracles. The area was simply desert land and when his people asked him to give them proof, the desert turned into a river.
On our way back to Tarim we got to see kids swimming in wells, palm trees as far as the eye could see, and camels chilling by the side of the road—one was crossing the road and the bus had to literally stop for him.
We're in summer now though, so the river was dried up for the most part. Unfortunately we were in a hurry so we didn't get to swim in the river as previous Dowra participants have gotten to, but a lot of us dipped their feet in and squished their way back to the bus all muddy.
I'm not feeling very articulate today—I fell down the stairs and I think I got a little too much sun—so forgive me for not being able to accurately portray the experience. Luckily, there is someone much more competent and eloquent than I am who has described the experience in a wonderful way:
We also stopped at the grave of Sheikh Abu Bakr ibn Salem on our way back, who was a great lover of Prophet Hud. He even had a small room built next to the dome where he used to come to contemplate and reflect for up to three months at a time. We didn't get to go to his house though, so I was lucky to not only visit his grave a second time, but also his house.