Hookah smoking initial traces have been found in the North Western provinces of India in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. According to Cyril Elgood (PP.41, 110) it was in India where the Persian physician Hakim Abu’l-Fatḥ Gīlānī (d. 1588), at the court of the Mughal emperor Akbar I (1542 - 1605 AD) invented the idea.Following the European introduction of tobacco to India, Hakim Abul Fateh Gilani a descendant of Abdul-Qadir Gilani came from Gilan, a province in the north of Iran, to India. He later became a physician in the court of Mughal and raised concerns after smoking tobacco became popular among Indian noblemen. He subsequently envisaged a system which allowed smoke to be passed through water in order to be 'purified'.Gilani introduced the ḡalyān after Asad Beg, the ambassador of Bijapur, encouraged Akbar to take up smoking. Following popularity among noblemen, this new device for smoking soon became a status symbol for the Indian aristocracy and gentry.
In North India, it is a great tradition followed among Gurjars, Jats, Bishnois, Rajputs etc. However, a quatrain of Ahlī Šīrāzī (d. 1535), a Persian poem, 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 Shah Ṭahmāsp I. It seems, therefore, that Abu’l-Fatḥ Gīlānī should be credited with the introduction of the ḡalyān, already in use in Persia, to India. The hookah pipe is also known as the Marra pipe in the UK, especially in the North East, where it is used for recreational purposes.