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Exploring Historical Origins: Where Did Hookah Originate?

Hello to all the new and loyal friends! Remember how we studied ‘what is shisha‘ with you a long time ago? As hookah became more and more popular, more people started to pay attention to the craft of Hookah. So do you know where did Hookah originate? Let’s look at it today!

Where Did Hookah Originate?

So, where did Hookah originate? It is widely thought that the first correct hookah pipe originated in India throughout the 16th century. Around this time around, Portuguese trading vessels routinely carried cargoes of Brazilian-grown tobacco leaves via subcontinental trade routes, along with various other tradeable commodities.

Normally, the tobacco was traded at Indian ports and also ultimately moved inland to major cities by professional caravans. As the story goes, Emperor Akbar was tributed with some tobacco leaves by the Moghul ambassador Asad Beg. Concerned concerning the health results of cigarette smoking cigarette through an unfiltered pipe, Akbar’s chief doctor, a Persian named Abu’ l-Fath Gilani, suggested that the tobacco smoke be travelled through water before breathing. A moulded glass flower holder was procured, as well as the first hookah pipe was developed.

Where Did Hookah Originate

Also during the 16th century, the Portuguese introduced tobacco to the Persians in Iran. Although the Shah of Iran, Abbas the Great, had made tobacco smoking prohibited, it was still heavily traded and also smoked among the Persian aristocracy. To smoke the tobacco, a device called the ḡalyān (or qalyān) was utilized, which roughly translates to “to bubble up” and “the water storage tank of a pipeline”.

Unlike very early Indian hookahs, the water vessels of Persian ḡalyāns were commonly made from metal or timber and also would certainly be decorated by artistic engravings as well as inscriptions. Considering that it was a Persian medical professional who conceived the hookah in India, it is not genuinely understood whether the hookah very first originated in India or had currently existed in Iran before this occasion.

Some think that hookah comes from Ethiopia as far back as the 12th century. The remains of water pipes made from coconut coverings, pet horns, and also pottery were located in Ethiopian caverns going back to between 1100 and also 1400 AD. The name nargileh comes from the Sanskrit word for coconut, which adds weight to the theory that hookahs were first made from coconut coverings.

Who Made The First Hookah?

Knowing where did Hookah originate, it is important to know who created the first hookah. In the Indian city of Fatehpur Sikri, Roman Catholic missionaries of the Society of Jesus arriving from the southern part of the country introduced tobacco to the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great (1542–1605 AD). Louis Rousselet writes that the physician of Akbar, Hakim Aboul Futteh Ghilani, then invented the hookah in India. However, a quatrain of Ahlī Shirazi (d. 1535), a Persian poet, refers to the use of the ḡalyān (Falsafī, II, p. 277; Semsār, 1963, p. 15), thus dating its use at least as early as the time of the Shah Ṭahmāsp I. 

It seems, therefore, that Abu’l-Fath Gilani should be credited with the introduction of the ḡalyān, already in use in Persia, into India. There is, however, no evidence of the existence of the water pipe until the 1560s. Moreover, tobacco is believed to have arrived in India in the 17th century, until then cannabis was smoked in India, so that suggests another substance was probably smoked in Ahlī Shirazi’s quatrain, perhaps through some other method.

Exploring Historical Origins: Where Did Hookah Originate? | Shisha World

What Were Hookahs Originally Used For?

In an attempt to purify smoke through water in a glass base called a “Shisha”, the Hookah was invented. Hookah soon cemented itself as a way for noblemen to show their high social status. In the 17th century, Hookah became a part of Persian culture where strong, dark leaf tobacco called Ajami was used.

In the 18th century, hookah was prominent in Turkish high society and was a true symbol of status. It was smoked after royal dinners and diplomatic meetings. Offering hookah to guests became an important sign of trust, and refusal to offer it could be seen as a serious insult. Once you know where did Hookah originate, you can understand why hookah is prevalent in these places.

What Countries Use Hookah?

In other words, when you know where did Hookah originate, it sets the trend of its popularity. Our world is a huge place filled with many different cultures for you to experience and enjoy. Hookah is culturally iconic in many of these places, so let’s see which countries:

1. Paris, France

Where far better yet is the city of love to appreciate your love of shisha? Paris is house to one of the seven marvels of the world, some of the best cheese you’ll ever example and also a populace of individuals that love to chill. I know– seems like a shisha smoker’s dream right? The relaxed ambience of Paris and the beautiful environments will certainly establish the scene for among your most picturesque smokes! If you obtain the opportunity in between bowls, why not stop by a few of the renowned sites and also declare your love for the Mona Lisa at Le Louvre?

Exploring Historical Origins: Where Did Hookah Originate? | Shisha World

2. UAE

UAE is among the wealthiest nations in the world. Home to the world’s highest structure– the impressive Burj Khalifa– as well as some scorching environment, UAE will make any type of genuine shisha smoker feel comfortable. Located at the heart of the Middle East, UAE was among the earliest nations to adopt shisha smoking right into their culture, so if you’re seeking a truly genuine cultural experience it’s secure to say having a smoke in UAE is a must. And with the thermostat reaching fever pitch at the elevation of the summer season, all you’ll be wanting to do is loosen up with a bowl of shisha and watch the world pass– camels and all.

Exploring Historical Origins: Where Did Hookah Originate? | Shisha World

3. Morocco

As the social residence of shisha– and a pretty stunning area as a whole– Morocco is a wonderful location to submerse on your own in the society of conventional shisha smoking. You’ll not need to search for long to find yourself a shisha cafe shop if that’s where you’re wanting to smoke, as they’re anywhere you transform. If you’re seeking a more genuine “homemade shisha” experience you can just establish on your own in your location (regulations permitting) and experience shisha in its cultural house. Have a look at this article for shisha cafe referrals in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Exploring Historical Origins: Where Did Hookah Originate? | Shisha World

4. New York

You don’t need to travel to the Middle East to experience genuine shisha, you can get your repair in the Big Apple! New York is a fusion of societies, with people from all walks of life sharing their custom-made and society with visitors year-round. There are several shisha cafes of note in New York City, but lots of reviews recommend La Sultana cafe on 4th Street, which has been referred to as among New York’s “best-kept tricks”. With its dimly lit, relaxed vibe you’ll feel right in the house smoking something fruity. By the way, you don’t have to go to any other countries, we can recommend the best hookah bars around Australia.

Exploring Historical Origins: Where Did Hookah Originate? | Shisha World

5. Turkey

All counts of shisha origins point to Turkey, and also thus all shisha pilgrimages lead there too. Shisha cafes are the main to daily life in Turkey, so you’ll be sure to find the venue that matches you without much problem. The locals are most likely to be in the know about all things shisha as well, so you can learn a thing or more about your preferred pass time– who recognizes, you may come away with a brand-new favourite way to smoke your shisha!

Exploring Historical Origins: Where Did Hookah Originate? | Shisha World

Why Do Middle Easterners Smoke Hookah?

It is believed that the culture of having shisha was started as a way to relax in the hot and arid climate of the middle eastern countries. Hookah was considered a wonderful way to loosen up after a lengthy day of job under the brilliant sun. Slowly, this has come to be more of a social point, but the relaxation component is still there.

People now make use of shisha as a means to have events, relaxation is merely an included reward. In many centre eastern countries, there is a special area referred to as ‘Majlis’, utilized for the consumption of hookah at most cafes. Majlis is an Arabic word for a ‘resting area’, normally inside outdoor tents with a lot of pillows to keep you comfortable is the most effective area to have a hookah. As a result, Hookah is so instilled in the society of the centre eastern that at most parties and also gatherings it is the favourite point that everyone has. 


Seeing here, I guess you already know where did Hookah originate. Today, many people like hookah not only because it allows them to choose many Shisha flavours and play many hookah tricks, but also because it can be a way for you to socialize which is the easy way to expand your social circle.

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