Where Does Shisha Come From?

In one form or another, hookahs have been around for over 500 years, but shisha tobacco, which we enjoy so much today, is not that old. Almost 1,000 years ago, shisha was first cultivated in North-Western India, along the Pakistan border in Rajhastan and Gujrat.

During the 16th century India, when the British East India Company began exporting glass to India, the first hookahs were made in shisha form we know today. The tobacco smoking habit was also introduced at this time by high society noblemen.


Indians, Turkish, Persian, Egyptian, and other Middle Eastern families have used hookahs as part of their cultural traditions for generations. However, shisha is more than just a way to be entertained or relax. It’s how families, friends, and relatives interact and form bonds among them. 

Many of the shisha events are planned specifically dedicated to shisha lovers. In this blog, we will explore the origin of shisha and how it works. 

What is Shisha?

Originally from the Middle East and specific areas of Asia, shisha smoking is often referred to as hookah smoking, narghile smoking, or even bubbled smoking. In recent years, however, it has become more popular among young people in the UK. 

It involves smoking tobacco using a bowl with a hose or tube attached. For inhaling, a smoker uses a tube with a mouthpiece. Usually, shisha contains smoking and can also have fruits or molasses sugar added to it. Flavors popular with consumers include strawberry, mint, lime, apple, and cola. In shisha pipes, wood, coal, or charcoal are burned to heat tobacco and create smoke. 

Where Does Shisha Come From?

About 1000 years ago, shisha originated in the north-western provinces of India and near the Pakistan border in Rajasthan and Gujrat. While the original shisha was far from what we see today, its purpose was straightforward – to keep you smoking. Usually, coconut shells made up the base for holding water, and the stem of trees at the top had a head attached to it. 

The production of Indian glass began in the mid-15th century due to Indian glass being exported through the British East India company. In Iran, when shisha used with Ajami, strong flavorless tobacco, the mystique of the plant spread to other countries. From 1623 to 1640, the Ottoman Empire ruled over the island, and it rose to fame. 

Around the world, hookahs are referred to as water pipes, nargile, arghileh, bubbly, shishas, OKKA, and Ghalyans. These names come from Arab, Indian, Turkish, Persian, Somalian, Ethiopian, and Uzbek ancestries. 

Many people in the UK refer to the tobacco smoked from a hookah as shisha. However, the flavor’s Arabic name is Mu’assel, which represents sweet syrup and glycerol tobacco blended. As a result, we’re keeping it simple as we smoke shisha flavor with a shisha pipe over here in the UK. 

Parts of Shisha

The perfect hookah experience requires several components, all of which are equally important. This uppermost section is called the hookah bowl or hookah head and is where the coal and tobacco are placed during the smoking session. 

On top of that, you have the tray, stem, release valve, hose gasket, hose port (where the hose enters), hose, vase gasket, vase (water-based), and so on from the top of the tray to the bottom. The bowl area of some hookahs is covered with a windscreen because the wind can ruin your hookah experience if the coal burns too fast. 

How Does It Work?

We use a perforated metal screen or foil sheet to cover the vase and fill the vase with water so the stems are submerged. On top of the soiled sheet, hot coal is placed to let the tobacco reach the correct temperature. Then, with the user sucking air through the hose, more heat is drawn on the tobacco, enabling and accelerating heat transfer. 

A down stem below the bottom of the hose carries the smoke underwater by drawing air through it. Consequently, smoke rises above the water’s surface in the water base and enters the opening of the hose port, where it connects directly to the hose part. After a user inhales the smoke, it continues to flow through the hose and enters their mouth.

Shisha Smoking Tips

Let’s discuss some tips for shisha smoking that will make you feel more enjoyable. 

  • Ensure the coil is evenly distributed across the foil to burn the tobacco more consistently. 
  • To enhance the flavor of the vase, add about two inches of the vine.  
  • Make the water fruity by adding some citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, mango, and grapefruit. 
  • For an ice-cold smoking sensation, add ice cubes to vase water. 

Sum Up

Because of the British East India Company, the Indian manufacturing business started blossoming. As a result, hookah has been around since the 15th century. These days, however, shisha is the more popular selection at parties and social gatherings. 

Despite social class, religion, or political beliefs, hookah is an integral part of an extensive community that binds members. Even though shisha has advanced over the past year, its roots remain firmly in tradition. As a cultural expression, hookah is essential to many people from all over the world.

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