How to set up a Hookah

How to set up a Hookah


For first-time hookah smokers, assembling a hookah may be a daunting task. To simplify the process of how to set up a hookah? a step by step guideline is given here. Follow the steps below to correctly set up your shisha, and get the best experience of a rejuvenating flavour with thick smoke.


How will you set your hookah bowl?


The shisha bowl or container is the most crucial part of a hookah setup. To obtain an exciting session of your narghile smoking, proper packing and assembling are necessary to appropriately set up the chillum. The universal approach of packing the kalian’s top is to sprinkle the tobacco or some herbal ingredients (in herbal flavour) lightly into the container and press it evenly to the container while keeping it below the bowl’s edge.


In other words, the smoker can use their fingers or use a hole cue to slightly dig into the container, so that no ingredients can come over the edge. Besides, one should put the ingredients below the edge around 1-2 mm to restrict any burning effect during the chillum smoking sessions. One needs to be sure that the tobacco or herbal components are uniformly spread across the container.


After this, you need two layers of durable and thick aluminium foil, to evade the burning effect on the topmost layer of the ingredient. Again, one should ensure that there are no wrinkles on the foil, and it sits tightly fit over the bowl. Thus, if the foil is thick, it helps to give protection from burning the shisha sessions. Besides, one vital aspect of thick foil is to prevent inhalation of any noxious chemicals. Now, when the foil is set properly, you can use a toothpick, if you do not have a hole rod, and punch three circles of holes. The holes should be 2-3 mm apart with an extra one hole over the stem to offer additional airflow. These holes will ensure the heat is consistently spread across so that the hookah does not get overheated.


In case, the chillum smoker is using Kaloud Lotus 1+, a heat management device, there is no need to place an aluminium foil over the container. You have to just put it over the bowl, and the process of smoking will start. Proper airflow is necessary to unclog the inner vents of the container so that the heat can circulate moderately within the bowl for heating the ingredients of the chillum properly. By this process, the narghile enthusiasts can enjoy a thick smoky session of kalian.


Setting up the Hookah stem


The shisha stem is one that holds the kalian container, tray, and pipe. In this step, the entire process of fixing a stem is illustrated below.


  • Affix the shisha base grommet


When the chillum stem is being set up, a rubber washer stem, which is the chillum’s glass base flexible loop aids in attaching the kalian’s base. It secures the hookah with air limitation for proper functioning. So, you have to hold the flexible loop from the base, and ensures that it appropriately fix to the chamber of the chillum pipe stalk. The cavity of the chillum’s trunk fixes on the glass base comprising of two holes at the base.


  • Secure the hookah container grommet


The chillum container’s flexible loop secures the head of the shisha to the trunk. It just fixes the container’s flexible loop to the trunk’s top portion. The cap is usually bigger than the chillum’s pipe opening washer.


  • Fix the chillum pipe grommet


Place the final stopper which is within the narghile setup package into the pipe’s outlet. It will ensure that the pipe has no air leakages.


  • Inspect the air valve ejection vent


The ejection valve socket is on a different side of the pipe’s outlet. A specific ball bearing of the air valve is set onto the shisha which allows limiting the airflow when the chillum is inhaled through the pipe.


Load up the chillum’s foundation with the right water level


You should particularly make it a point to fill up the level of water, preferably cool tap water in correct proportion, which can be till halfway of the shisha’s base. Now, when gauging the water level, you need to hold the kalian’s trunk positioning it in the shisha’s base. The level of water needs to be only an inch above the base of the narghile’s trunk for optimal smoking results. This helps to provide the correct proportion of air in the glass container so that the smoking session remains enjoyable.


Now, if the water level is above the required position, you should pour out the water, or else humidity may get in the pipe and forcefully eject the vent. Again, if the water level of the shisha does not go up to the narghile’s trunk, no smoke will be produced.


Set up the parts of the chillum


Now, when it is all loaded, you need to assemble the pieces of shisha by these steps:

  • Pop in the kalian’s trunk into the glass base, and ensure that the trunk is firmly set into the base.
  • Connect the chillum tray with the pipe’s opening
  • Fix in the chillum’s container to the vent where the shisha’s bowl cap is set. The cap should ensure that the container is stable, and also there are no air leakages.
  • Affix the pipe or tube of the hookah with the socket of the pipe. The cap of the pipe should assure that the pipe is strongly affixed when it is inserted, and also stops any air leakages.


Light the charcoal and enjoy the smoke session


Eventually, we can now start smoking the chillum by lighting up the charcoal by putting two to three pieces over the coil heater. The process should be put in motion slowly with the charcoals completely lit, or else one might inhale any chemical from the narghile itself.

Now, the chillum should be burning before usage, and it takes around five to eight minutes for this process to be completed. Now, once the process is ready, charcoals should be put over the narghile’s container or bowl. The chillum container should be heating up for two to five minutes before the smoking session starts with the perfect condition. This is how you know how to set up a hookah.

hookah setup

The success of hookah has been seen in the number of shisha parlours that have sprung up globally with the introduction of an innovative variety of flavours, thereby engaging more chillum smokers day by day.


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History of Hookah


History of Hookah

Hookah means a “pot jar” or a “cavity hollow”, which came from the word haqqa, or huqqa. U.S. Nation calls it Shisha. It is also called by various names globally, including shisha, sheesha, okka, kalyan, nargeela, narglie, narghile, ghelyoon, ghalyan, goza, and hubble-bubble, among others. Most of these names originated from Arabian, Indian, Persian, Turkish, Somalian, and Ethiopian origin.

The Hookah is termed as lula or lulava in Albania. In Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, the hookah is identified as chillim. In the Maldives, it is Guduguda, and in Kashmir it is jajeer. While in the Philippines, it is recognised as hitboo, using the same as seasoned cannabis. Moreover, the hookah is also called the marra pipe in the United Kingdom.

Types of Hookah in Ancient Times

In ancient times, persons used smoking through a hookah in a very awkward way. Around forty to fifty litre holes made in the ground filled by clay. People commonly throw large stones inside these holes, while covering these gaps with dried branches, and also clay. The jet of smoke, which hit the rocks, broke into bubbles and was later unadulterated through the water. These types of structures were usually observed in the rocky terrains of southern parts of Africa, and Afghanistan, dating around 8000 B.C. In the Turkish Empire, the seasoned tobacco was made from soaking pieces of tobacco in various sweet taste maple syrups, which are later overlaid on water, covering it with hot charcoals placed above, while the smoke absorbed through cold water for cooling and filtering purpose.

At those times, persons felt alcoholic just by inhaling solutions made from herbs and glucose. In ancient India, people use to have hookah, making it from dried coconuts, partially filling them with water, and sticking them with two straws. While, in Egypt’s early history, people use to smoke hookah created from round pumpkins. In Iran, people started smoking Ajami, tasteless tobacco through their hookahs.

Even, in present times, the earliest kind of hookah uses tumbak or a raw form of tasteless tobacco accustomed in South Asian villages. It usually delivered smokes when having direct contact with hot charcoal. However, when compared to distilled shishas, the above technique offers a higher punch of tobacco and nicotine. In recent times, hookahs are cast out of stainless steel and aluminium, instead of substandard mixtures of different metals, including brass and copper. Better hoses or pipes nowadays crafted from silicon rubber materials, compared to previously used wires and leather items. Thus, these modern items shape new-age hookahs giving them an enduring quality, apart from reducing foul smells, and no oxidation process, or bacterial infection.

Although modern hookahs have their benefits, still shishas with aging equipment are harnessed, due to the unavailability of new-age materials accompanied by higher manufacturing costs.

Culture in Different Countries


Now, hookah came into existence around the 15th century in India. It all started with the business expanse of East Indian Company, which started exporting glass to India.

It is important to mention the Mughal period when hookah was invented by Abu’l-Fath Gilani, a physician in Akbar’s court, and Persian in origin. So, shisha came into existence in the city of Fatehpur Sikri, and it spread out from the Indian subcontinent to countries in the Persian Gulf. Another theory suggests that hookah might have its origin in the Persian dynasty of Safavid, and later it expanded further to the Indian mainland from here only.

In modern times, there are various bars and clubs across various cities in India, providing different types of shishas, right from non-tobacco sorts, and molasses or vegetable glycerol infused with various flavours. A fishing village named, Koyilandy on the western coast of India once created and exported a great number of hookahs, called the Koyilandy or Malabar hookahs.


Hookahs were a conventional smoking tool in Bangladesh, especially used by old aristocrats of Bengali Muslim landowners. Due to the effect of globalization, hookah parlours spread like a wildfire between 2008 and 2011, wherein, flavoured hookahs came to the forefront at the beginning of the year 2000.  But, in recent times, the Government went on to abolish shisha bars to restrict the use of illegal drugs. Once, in the 1973 Bangladeshi general elections, a hookah was also used as an electoral trademark for a candidate.


Conventional wooden hookahs once personified the eminent class of people in Nepal. In recent times, Pokhara, and Kathmandu have special sport-related hookah bars. But, shishas are observing a downtrend, due to wider accessibility of cheap quality cigarettes.


Hookah or shisha means boiling the root in Persian culture. In Persian culture, people use solid pipes created out of real snakeskin and stick the same into hookahs made from pumpkin, earthenware, and nut. Persians used tobacco for smoking shisha. In Persia, in the times of Suleiman I, different galyans or water pipes were intricately designed, even with gold and silver hoses.

Middle East

Previously in the middle ages, regional craftsperson started the hookah culture, recognizing it as a priceless artifact.  Smoking hookahs is primarily done with a single or double piped variety, while a triple or four-piped hookah is also used sometimes. Hookahs are usually served in most of the cafes in Middle East countries.


Just like Persian culture, smoking lovers in Turkey originated around 500 years ago and had shaped their hookahs similarly to modern shisha shapes. They modified the ancient clay type hookah bases into a glass and expensive metals. Although they also stick to snake skins for their hoses. The patriarchal communes in Turkey have continuously maintained their tradition of smoking shishas. The tradition of smoking nargile or hookah started around the 17th century. Having shishas also provoked a political crisis between France and the bygone Ottoman rulers.

US and Canada

Commencing between the 1960s and 1970s, shishas came to the forefront as a favourite relaxation tool, wherein, instead of charcoals, open flames were used. In present times, hookahs are available at specialized shisha shops, apart from gas stations. Currently, some states in the US have imposed hookah smoking inside a bar. However, in some cities hookah parlours have flourished in their business, especially targeting the youngsters.

South Africa

Hookah is informally called okka pipe, or hubbly bubbly, and a favourite option for Indian communities in South Africa. Smoking is legal in public spots, like picnic places, and beaches, along with bars. Here, the container or bowl or head is also known as clay pot. The hoses as pipes and the air release plug is called the clutch.

Conclusively, we can say hookah, once a part of an elite class of people, has now changed its trend, becoming the everyday recreational tool, especially for youngsters. It has bridged the gap between ethnic classes, political ideologies, and religion while showcasing the deeply embedded philosophies into a broad social manifestation.


Check our Blogs on: How to set up Hookah, The Best drinks To Enjoy with Hookah.





Hookah vs Cigarette

Hookah Vs Cigarette

Hookah vs cigarettes

“NO SMOKING” is a slogan we all have come across in our life, as we have seen it in most places. We are also aware of its hazardous effect on one’s health. The government has taken many steps to reduce smoking in open spaces, and though cigarette usage has dropped. Hookah or shisha, another form of tobacco is gaining popularity among the youth of today. So it can be taken into account that Hookah is better than cigarette

Hookah is a single-stemmed pipe used to smoke different flavoured tobacco. It contains a water pipe with a bowl of tobacco and coal, and a hose attached to it with a mouthpiece to draw the smoke in. Unlike cigarettes, hookah humidifies the tobacco smoke before inhalation and is meant to be safer than cigarettes.

The debate regarding hookah being better than cigarette had been going on for a long time. We step up into this debate and highlight a few reasons to support our opinions of whether – hookah is better than smoking cigarettes.

  • Variety of flavours

The foremost reason for hookah being better than cigarette is simple. There are a lot of options when it comes to taste and flavours. The flavours range from cherry, strawberry, cola, mint, coffee, coconut, apple, chocolate to other fruity blends.

All you have to do is, step into a tobacco store that sells molasses. And see for yourself the different variety of tobacco available. There is classical tobacco with or without nicotine, gels, and steam stones that you can opt for. However, if you are looking for pleasure by smoking hookah? Then go for classical tobacco. But if you are more health-conscious then you can go for the non-nicotine one.

afzal-fruit-flavour- hookah flavour


  • Better tastes

Secondly, in comparison to cigarettes, hookah tastes better. Though there are many tasty options in cigarettes too, like vanilla, cherry, and so on. But they all leave behind an unpleasant taste in our mouth. That is not found after a hookah session. Have you ever come across any such unlikeable taste in the past? Then you need to check whether your procedure of hookah making is right. A good hookah session will give you a fresh fruity or berry taste on your lips. And who wouldn’t like to experience that?


  • Indoor as well as outdoor

Another great point in the comparison between hookah and cigarette is both indoor and outdoor. Though cigarettes can be used indoors, it leaves behind a bad smell on our curtains, clothes, and sofas which are not found after the use of hookah. Hookah too leaves a staunch smell in the air, but not as strong as the smell in cigarettes.

It is mostly the fragrance of the flavour that you opt for.  After smoking cigarettes the air still have the staunch smell. It is tenacious even after a couple of hours. But while having a hookah session at home, don’t forget to leave the windows a bit open for the fresh air as it enhances the experience.

hookah smoke


  • Long-lasting

Another reason for the hookah to be better than cigarettes is – it lasts for a longer duration. If an average cigarette lasts for about 15 to 20 puffs, then an average hookah session lasts about 180 to 200 puffs.

This means it gives 10 times more enjoyment and 10 times more bliss to the consumer. And who wouldn’t like some extra fun and pleasure? But it is also recommended to have hookah sessions in a troupe. You will not want to take all the 100 to 200 puffs alone and get tipsy or have a headache.

Hookah is fun and enjoyable when you go slow and relish the flavour in the process. After all hookah sessions are to relax and enjoy the occasion.


  • The X Factor

One of the main arguments in the cigarette vs hookah discussion is its mystical X factor. We all have to admit that preparing for a hookah session is like preparing for a ritual. From the type of tobacco to be chosen, igniting the coal, setting up the hookah, and preparing oneself mentally for the hookah gathering is similar to getting ready before performing a ritual.

We all have to agree in unison that sitting down for a hookah session in it – an X factor. Sitting with a delicate glass bowl, the hose and the mouthpiece in hand gives a different impact than smoking cigarettes.

And the pleasure, fun, and relaxation hookah session provides to the consumers is nothing compared to smoking cigarettes. Moreover, hookah is generally taken for fun and respite other than to get high.


Though smoking tobacco with nicotine can be dangerous, hookah provides an option to consumers with non-nicotine and flavoured tobacco.

Hence, in the context of social smoking, these 5 reasons should demonstrate to you why hookah smoking is better than cigarettes. And it is always up to you to choose the tobacco you prefer – nicotine or the non-nicotine one, right?



Check our another blog on Drinks with Hookah:




drinks with hookah

The 21st century has been the era of rebirth for Hookah in India. It’s known by many names around the world like shisha, chillum and narguile. The growing preference and enthusiasm for hookah smoke in the recent times, among the youth, has enabled the purveyor to introduce new flavours and techniques to provide a better experience.In this blog you will get to know about drinks to enjoy with hookah.

But apart from the tobacco flavour, a good hookah session can also be enjoyed with a number of drinks. This article is all about the clues on trendy drinks to enjoy with hookah and answering the when, what and how much of it?

For a regular tobacco smoker there are a lot of opportunity to enjoy a bowl of tobacco, one of it being – voguish drinks. But there are a few basic rules that one needs to follow to enjoy the session and not over do it. Just as you wouldn’t like the taste of orange juice immediately after brushing your mouth, similarly there are a few beverages that wouldn’t go well with a bowl of chillum.

Here are a few drinks to enjoy with hookah that will enhance your smoking experience. These beverages are essential to keep the smokers hydrated and not hinder their experience while smoking hookah.

Vanilla – The universal mixer

It is a fantastic universal mixer. Vanilla flavoured chillum goes well with most of the drinks. The mild vanilla flavour in hookah smoke combines well with most of the liquids and does not taste too strong or sweet.

Vanilla with hookah


Milk – An enticing choice

Enticing but odd – drinking milk with tobacco might sound so, isn’t it? Most may find the combination of milk and flavoured molasses awkward but cold milk works well with a variety of tobacco flavours. If you are a milk lover or like trying out new things then milk can be the right option for you.

Cold milk blends well with shisha flavours like spice, mints, chocolate, strawberry and cherry. The creamy texture of the milk along with flavoured narguile will make it taste like milkshake and give you an unforgettable experience.


But do keep in mind, smoking can sometimes make your stomach upset and if you are intolerant towards dairy products then do avoid this option. There are also other options other than the classical cow milk, like soya and almond milk that can be opted for. Though it is good for the health it contains a lot of fat which is not safe if consumed in large quantity while relaxing for the day in a hookah session.


Fresh or Mixed Drinks

Flavoured molasses also goes good with fresh fruit juices or some of the mixed drinks unless it is not too sugary or sweet. You can have a glass of fresh citrus fruits like orange to compliment the mint flavoured smoke.

Fresh fruit juices tend to enliven and energize you. Make sure you keep the drink light and something that compliments the flavour you are having. Balancing your drink to the shisha can be quiet overwhelming.

But here’s a tip, if you are interested in fruit drinks, then the best suggestion would be to go for a mint flavoured shisha and to avoid spice flavour unless you have an adventurous palate. Another simple pointer is to always mix the fruit flavours that often go together with your shisha flavour.

Drink Pairings With Hookah


Coffee – A popular drink

A classic and popular choice of drink to consider when you are a morning person. Coffee is a great choice to pair with any spice flavoured shisha.

Caffeine provides a break to your taste buds allowing you to enjoy the narguile session. Flavoured smoke combined with coffee, neutralizes the taste and helps you concentrate as you would like the session to last longer.

An important note to consider while having coffee is to stay away from sweet or citrus shisha flavours. Since coffee gives a comforting and enveloping feel, it pairs well with spice, floral or more rind flavours like cinnamon, cardamom, pumpkin pie or with coffee itself.

Coffee with hookah


Alcohol – Beer or cider

There is no doubt that we all have been to parties or events having hookah sessions and it is mostly accompanied by alcoholic beverages. The small sparkling froth in cider or beer paired with tobacco makes you feel enchanting.

As mentioned before, it is recommended that you go for a lighter beer while having a lighter tobacco flavour.  The stronger the tobacco flavour the stronger and darker the beer you can opt for. Keep the pairing balanced and if one flavour dominates the other then prolong the duration and keep it separate.

There are times when you keep smoking but you’re not able to taste the flavour. Having beer with hookah cleanses the tongue and helps you enjoy the session for a longer duration. A sip of a refreshing fluid can always boost the senses which have been dull for a long time.

The same principles apply for wine lovers. Always chose a dry wine while smoking a sweet tobacco flavour. Mint goes good with sweet wine.


Black tea or Green mint tea

As you all know hookah originated in the Middle East, where Hookah was a part of their tradition and culture. Other than this tobacco they were also fond of different types of tea, ranging from mint tea to peach tea.

So for at least once you should try out the different types of tea with hookah.  A sip of black or green mint tea can purify your senses and uplift your taste buds.

Hookah with green tea


Water – the best choice

Water is the best choice as you can mix it with everything and even go driving afterwards. A good suggestion is to have water with lemon or cucumber. Carbonated water can also be used by mixing it with different flavours.

Since smoking hookah can make you dry, drinking water is the golden rule to keep yourself hydrated and rejuvenated. Most of you might have come across moments when you suddenly feel dizzy and had to disrupt the session.

There is no need to worry in such situations; it’s just your body getting dehydrated due to so much nicotine. All you have to do is drink plenty of water and have a little snack before the session.


In short, you need to go with whatever suits you the best. But do keep yourself hydrated which is the most important rule. Any beverage you chose, should accompany your narguile. If you’re having sweet flavoured tobaccos then go for a drink that is opposite. And the other way round while having a sweet drink.  Moreover these above drinks are for consumption with the hookah and not to be put in it.

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