Most historians believe that hookah originated in India, specifically in the north western region of the subcontinent. There is a theory, however, that suggests hookah may have originated in Persia or Afghanistan. The earliest pictorial evidence of hookah comes from Persia and thy date back to the 16th century. However, there are references to hookah in Indian literature that date back to the 13th century. It is possible that hookah was introduced to India from Persia or Afghanistan, but it is more likely that it developed independently in different regions of the subcontinent. Hookah eventually spread from India to other parts of Asia and the Middle East, including Turkey and Egypt.