Hookahs in India: how to smoke, what laws and features of culture
The history of the emergence of a hookah in India
The first devices resembling a hookah were found in India and date back to BC. This suggests that ancient civilizations used similar smoking inventions. Further, the culture began to develop throughout the East, hookahs appeared in Turkey, Egypt, modern Iran and other countries, gradually moving to the West.
The first hookahs were made of clay, the pipe was solid, coming straight out of the part that the masters would call a bulb today. The mine was quite high, the whole structure was solid. Today, modern hookahs look different, but they all came from similar models.
Features of the culture of hookah smoking in India
The main feature of the hookah culture in India is that there is almost no smoking hookah. Here is a paradox. In a country that is considered to be the founder of hookahs, hookahs are not smoked. Most of the hookah establishments are held by immigrants, and their main clients are tourists. Local residents rarely smoke hookah, and even more so just to try it.
This is due to several factors. Initially, there was a law that anyone can smoke, so teenagers began to get addicted to hookahs. Authorities imposed a restriction, and then generally banned smoking hookah in public places. For example, in Bangladesh, Mumbai, Jaipur and a number of other cities, it is simply impossible to find hookah institutions, as they are simply prohibited. But at the same time, you can buy a hookah in the store, as well as clogging to it.
Features of the culture of hookah in India are as follows:
- It's not customary to smoke a hookah, but if you find a cafe, order a smoky hookah, passers-by and other visitors to the establishment will not react at all to you.
- Under the hookah, you are unlikely to be offered drinks or food, except to sell you something, so make sure you decide in advance what you will smoke the hookah with.
- No need to hope for an assortment of tastes, it is extremely limited. In addition, tobacco is locally produced, so its quality will remain not too good.
- You can smoke hookah at the hotels; most of them offer this service to tourists.
- You can smoke a hookah both in company and in solitude.
- While smoking, you can play games, read, chat, there are no restrictions.
- Many Indians are proud that they consider their homeland the ancestor of hookahs, they are often mentioned in songs, films, but are not used.
- Often in India, overpacking is done, and coal is put on top of tobacco without foil. Therefore, the hookah will be strong and heavy.
These are the main features of the hookah smoking culture in India. It is practically not developed, but at the same time they offer devices for tourists, and they try to impress, having shown that they say that we are the birthplace of hookahs. However, in Russia the culture of hookah smoking is developed much wider and more, therefore, if the Indian tourist is surprised by Indian hookah, it is only on the negative side.
Are there any famous brands of hookahs from India
In India today, there is not a single popular hookah producer. This does not mean that they are not made here at all, but since the devices are not in special demand, there is no industry. At the same time, there are a lot of small private workshops where each device is made manually.
Handmade hookah - it only sounds beautiful. In practice, sealing, symmetry is often broken, and materials of medium quality are used. Therefore, Indian hookahs are not popular both within the country and outside its borders. However, shops selling hookahs in India abound. But if you look at the devices, you can see the inscription Made in China on them. And if there is no inscription, then this is understandable in appearance.
The vast majority of such devices are not even designed for smoking, and fulfill an exclusively decorative role. Therefore, buying a hookah in India is not a good idea.
Famous Tobacco Brands
Many craftsmen make tobacco for hookah in India on their own. Also, this tobacco is used for other smoking devices. It is very strong, the line of tastes is limited to 2-3 flavors, and even those are practically not expressed. But still there is one manufacturer who managed to win love all over the world.
It's about Afzal tobacco. This is an Indian quality tobacco, presented all over the world and has received an excellent reputation. Not everyone will like it, since its tastes are very unusual. It is made from quality tobacco leaves, which is grown in India. In addition to the tobacco leaf, herbs and spices are often used in the composition, giving an extraordinary aroma. Almost every Indian knows about the Afzal brand and is proud of it, even if he has never tried this tobacco. The line has more than 60 different tastes, and they are all unusual. There is a scent of ginger, sandalwood, incense. The combination of spices and spices is bright and unique.
Despite a large cut of tobacco, the leaves are well saturated with syrup, so the taste lasts a long time and remains uniform. Hookah lovers like high smoke, but it is not recommended to use Afzal tobacco in mixes. It is self-sufficient, but when combined with other tobaccos, the taste can go bad.
Hookah legislation in India
Since 2011, a law has been enacted in India that prohibits the use of hookahs in public institutions. This is due to the fact that schoolchildren and teenagers began to actively smoke hookah (before this age limit was not). The authorities considered that at such an age there would be an attraction to more serious negative products, so they decided to ban hookahs altogether.
It is worth noting that the legislation does not apply in all cities. You cannot smoke hookah in Bangalore, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Chennai, Faridabad and Jaipur. Unless in clandestine institutions. However, in Delhi, Goa there is still no ban on smoking hookah, and these cities are happy to welcome tourists and offer similar services.
Where to smoke hookah in India
To smoke a hookah in India is a rather difficult task, but it is quite solvable. There are a number of places where you will be offered a very good hookah:
- In Arambol in the tea house of Malindao. They provide excellent hookah, a fairly large selection of tobaccos, including modern ones. Therefore, here you can enjoy the thick smoke.
- Goa, Colva Margao Road, Simple Pleasures Cafe. Here they offer visitors a hookah with AlFaker tobacco, the assortment of tastes is quite large, so you can enjoy the smoke. The cost is quite small, only 450 rupees.
- Goa, Arambol. Right on the beach in the evening on the tables put hookahs. Sit at such a table, and a hookahman will come up to you, who will offer to hammer tobacco. The range is average, but the cost is very pleasing, hookahs cost about 300 rupees.
- Hookah Mocha, Delhi. This is a specialized institution where hookahs are the main part of the menu. Therefore, if you are in this city, go to this hookah and enjoy smoking delicious tobacco.
- Restaurants at hotels. Some hotels are allowed to smoke hookah, so restaurants immediately take the opportunity and provide tourists with this service. The cost, of course, is somewhat more expensive than in a cafe, but still you can smoke a hookah in India without any problems.
- Arabs and Russians. If you want a hookah, find an institution owned by an Arab or Russian. Surely they have hookahs, even in those cities where this is prohibited. Of course, the pleasure is very doubtful, but if you really want to smoke a hookah, and there are no suitable cafes around, try it.
These are the main places where you can smoke hookah in India. In general, try to get acquainted with the local culture and learn about all the institutions. If you meet locals, they will tell you what and where is for sale. But do not fall for scammers and extortionists, otherwise instead of a smoky hookah and a good evening, you will get problems.
Where to buy hookah in India
As we said, if you want to buy a hookah in India, you have to work hard. Most stores offer souvenir models that are not designed for normal smoking. But there are places where you can still find normal hookahs:
- In Delhi on the Main Bazaar. A large selection of hookahs and other smoking accessories is presented. Here you can certainly find the work of local masters, as well as imported models from Turkey and Egypt.
- Conat Place, Delhi. Hookahs are intermediary, but can be taken for infrequent smoking. There are many models, but look at the quality, as there are defective and unsuitable for smoking in general.
- Arabian Nights, Calangute, Delhi. This is a company store of hookahs, which is located in both cities. Good classic models of hookahs are presented here, so for sure you will find something sensible.
- In Arambol in the tea house of Malindao. You can not only smoke a good hookah, but also choose a model for purchase.
- In Delhi to the Great Kailash Market. A huge number of models of hookahs are presented, there are both souvenir and good ones. But for the choice, you should understand a little about hookah topics, otherwise you can choose a low-quality model. However, it is one of the best stores in all of India.
These are the main places where you can buy hookah in India. We also recommend taking a walk in local shops and looking for this product, but you should not take a hookah in a souvenir shop, it will be unsuitable for smoking. We also advise you to ask the locals where the workshops are located. You can directly go to a craftsman and choose a hookah from him. Do not forget to bargain, because he will immediately offer a huge price. At least 30-40% can be safely thrown off. In the end, just remind him that he is not the only master in India.
However, it is obviously not necessary to go to India for hookahs. Look at local attractions, enjoy the architecture and culture, and you can buy a hookah in our online store "Hookah Bazaar". To do this, you don’t even need to leave the house, just select the hookah model, tobacco and accessories directly on the site, and make an order. Choose any hookah and enjoy the dense fragrant smoke.
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