“How do I meet new people who share the same interest as me?”, I’m often asked in my work as a matchmaker and relationship coach. So here’s a curated list of communities, groups, and places where you are likely to meet people who are interested in at least one interest area as much as you. That makes it easy to break the ice and have a conversation. Allow me to add — proximity, consistency and vulnerability are the three pillars of a solid friendship. So, you still need to make the effort to sustain the momentum of your conversation by engaging with them repeatedly or meeting them outside the online world if you’ve only had a virtual interaction. (Work-in-progress list, so keep sending your DMs to me on Twitter)
Across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru
Creative Mornings for creative professionals to attend an event that allows you to discover your city’s creativity. These are free events, RSVP is a must. I love the vibe in my local chapter of Bengaluru where the venue is 1 Shanthi Road.
Leap is a network built only for women to connect and engage in online and offline activities. Leap (af)fair is the highlight for me. Membership fee + per event charge.
Headstart is a startup community to help you grow in the ecosystem.
eChai is a startup network and their events allow you to meet fellow founders and aspiring ones. Typically free events.
WeWork is a chain of coworking spaces. Working out of here, specially on a Friday could mean meeting founders, freelancers and fellow professionals.
Toastmasters is a good way to improve your public speaking skills and meet people who come with a growth mindset to upskill themselves.
Sunset Cinema club for open air movie screening enthusiasts.
To explore Delhi on foot, check out these walks - Delhi Heritage Walks, Sair e Dilli, Delhi by Foot, Delhi Food Walks, Delhi Photo Walks.
Travel lovers head to Kunzum Cafe. Book club here. Scrabble lovers here. Gurgaon Organic Famers Market for clean and healthy living here. Noida Cycling club here. For pottery, for spiritual lovers — there’s Zorba.
Shivangi Bansal runs Malsar to bring people together over various interests.
To explore Mumbai on foot, head to Khaki Tours. Dog lovers head for a Dog Yoga. Cat lovers head to the Cat Cafe. BNHS for nature trails. Book club here. Coworking and pottery studio, Mitti. IFBE for creative folks.
I love patting the cats while sitting at Prithvi Cafe and waiting for a play to open. Marine Drive remains my all-time favourite.
How do we talk BLR without mentioning URLs for IRL meetups in the startup space? Draper Startup House for Entrepreneurs hosts events in Koramangala. Check out HelloMeets for vertical focused how-to sessions by industry experts.
For poetry lovers, there’s Poets of Bangalore. Language is usually no bar. I last performed a poetry recital here in March 2022 and loved the energy.
For Hindi and Urdu poetry lovers, Anjuman is currently online. I wrote my first ever Hindi poem in 2018 so that I could perform at their gathering in Atta Galatta in Koramangala.
Bangalore Storytelling Society used to have campfire vibes — warm and cozy and mesmerizing during their sessions at Atta Galatta in Koramangala. Vikram and the team do a fabulous job at putting it together. They are now online, of course, and you can participate from anywhere in the world. For music lovers, Saptasur Karaoke Club is a good starting point.
For theatre lovers, Enad is an active Bengali drama group in JP Nagar.
For art and craft lovers, Bloom and Grow in Koramangala is your spot. They are conducting online workshops currently. I loved participating in the Declutter sale there where I was able to sell out stuff from the painting parties I once hosted.
Lahe Lahe in Indiranagar is a lovely space where you want to slow down and soak in some music, dance, and culture. I loved participating in the Dandiya night they hosted in 2021. Mansi, Nikhil, and the team are warm and friendly folks.
Dance lovers can check out Dhuri in Indiranagar. There’s LVDS in Vasanthnagar for salsa, bachate, hip-hop, freestyle jive, swing and more. For Improv, check out what Anvesh is doing in Koramangala. For classical performing art events, check out Kalanataka. For Bengaluru city-based tours, visit here. For Malleswaram walk, visit here.
Bangalore International Centre in Domlur is an inclusive space for soaking in some culture. Here’s one of my experience from BIC Hub’ba in Feb 2022.
The Human Library Bangalore has moved to Clubhouse for now. I loved interacting with the books in our 30-minute long sessions as a reader. I continue to be friends with someone I met here since both of us shared a Sattu drink I was carrying and it turned out to be our lunch that day. She also became a book once. You may like to read my experience from THL here.
Boardgame lovers enjoy the sessions hosted by Rohit and team VictoryPoint Board Games. They usually host on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Then there’s ReRoll Games who are currently on Discord. Meeples meetup last hosted in March 2022 in Indiranagar. You can check with them.
For chess lovers, Bangalore Chess Club is your go-to place.
Cycling enthusiasts love Bums on the Saddle. My hubby has done a 100km ride with them and truly appreciated the sincere efforts of organizing, helping each other out, and ensuring it was inclusive for relatively new folks like him. You may also check out iCycle for community events and bicycle rentals. We have rented out from their HSR store for a few of our rides. Also, check Bangalore Cycling Club.
For sports, consider checking Playo to find someone who’d also like to do the same activity as you and sync up with them. For running, Soles of Bangalore. There’s Sisters In Sweat (SIS) exclusively for women, by women, stitched together by sport and wellness.
Pokemon Go lovers can find friends, fun and fitness from PoGoBlr community.
Plant lovers can indulge in exchanging seeds and plants here and here. Freecycle Bangalore enables you to recycle when you or someone else declutters.
Travel on your mind? Check out affordable package tours with KSTDC.
GrabChai for 1:1 with Startup folks and good conversations. I have never had a dull moment with people I have met through GrabChai. Kudos to Aditya and Suhas and The Product Folks team for their sincere efforts to bring people together.
LunchClub for 1:1 with a relatively global audience. Someone I met there ended up being my recurring client for hosting online events.
Airbnb online experiences are a good way to explore a new culture, art form, or a new place. I learned to write my name in 3 different ways in Japanese, planned a 3-day itinerary if I were to visit New York City, did Tai chi with someone from Beijing, and attended a magic show from Malaysia. Oh and I also hosted a few Airbnb online experiences around India Travel and Culture.
For book lovers, I attended a Zoom gathering by this Reading Academy and liked our conversations in the breakout rooms. I also attended the Bookish club which has moved from Clubhouse to Twitter Spaces. They have 15 slots in an hour and you talk about the book that you are reading that week. Ranjeet is kind enough to maintain a Notion doc so that you can look up the books being referred by people who are reading them. Sanskaari Girls book club, The Sunday Book Club, The Ready Readers, Broke Bibliophiles Bangalore, Nikita’s Book Shelf are great, I heard.
The time I spent at The Jar was amazing. We’d have a shared experience in the form of storytelling or recital and then move to breakout rooms to discuss it in detail. I was an early adopter and it was free then.
Tribeless hosts monthly sessions to build more empathy. Global audience and good to gain perspective.
For people who are remote workers or digital nomads, check out Remote Indian. I have met Abhishek once and it’s amazing to see his efforts shaping up into a highly resourceful and tight-knit community.
For explorers, Jagriti Yatra — the world’s largest entrepreneurial train journey has now gone digital. I was a Facilitator in the 2018 batch and those 15 days will forever be etched in my memory. Here’s a post where I talk about living on a train for 15 days, the planned visits, the uninterrupted conversations, maximizing serendipity, and making friends that feel like childhood friends but as an adult. Ever so grateful to Shashank, Ashutosh, and the team for enabling this once-in-a-lifetime experience for youngsters. And to Abhishek Singhania, Bharat Aggarwal and Akshay Panwar for our very own Parivaar group.
Curious about the hinterlands of India? Shodhyatra is a good fit to travel and learn together. Of course, we love Prof Anil Gupta. (I’m surrounded by Wimwians, so this is a no-brainer)
For travel enthusiasts, check out group tours by Ikigai. This came as a recommendation from someone in the online social mixer I host for single folks.
Cohort-based courses allow you to spend time with people working towards the same goal as you. I am currently running a Dating Accelerator that enables single people to get ready for their last first date.
Skillshare enables you to learn or improve a skill and make friends along the way. Inspired by Neha, I did some Zen doodles last year. You can learn more about her work here.
For writing enthusiasts, I’d recommend a workshop by Rashmi Bansal. I made friends with someone by writing and sharing the same prompt — Pani Puri. She and I are WhatsApp pals and have yet to meet IRL.
For upskilling/ career progression, you could look at GrowthX, The Product Folks.
For a one-off event, I have immensely benefitted from LBB in discovering events that led me to Script by Godrej in Indiranagar for a jazz night, also a coffee brewing session by a Blue Tokai barista. On another occasion, I participated in a ceramic mug painting by FabIndia in Koramangala.
Facebook Events also helps with discovering hyper-local events such as Literature Festival, Poetry Festival, Chitrakala Parishad’s annual art fair et all.
Event listings column in Bangalore Mirror/news dailies, Twitter search, following Instagram accounts of local influencers/ event venues are other ways of finding interesting events that allow you to eventually tap into the communities where these people hang out.
You may also check out this WhatsApp group — Putting Scenes by Mannan for activities in Bengaluru. And these platforms -
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Looking for work-related communities? Here’s a list by Springworks.
P.S. Found this Reddit post useful for things to do in Bengaluru. If you live or work in HSR or would like to attend events here, join us in HSRisHome community that hosts events that bring people together based on interests and goals.
BLR weekend plans
Bouldering at Cubbon Park
Indian Music Experience, JP Nagar
Birdwatchers Club https://bngbirds.com
Bicycle rides from Indiranagar http://www.procycle.in
Bengaluru by foot http://www.bengalurubyfoot.com
Bangalore Walks https://www.bangalorewalks.com, and we have done an amazing food walk in VV Puram with Sahapedia walks https://www.indiaheritagewalks.org/
Araku Coffee, Indiranagar hosts coffee brewing workshops
Max Mueller Bhavan https://www.goethe.de/ins/in/en/ver.cfm
Alliance Francaise https://bangalore.afindia.org
Skydiving in Mysore https://bangalore.afindia.org
Open mic Tuesdays at Kadence Koramangala https://lbb.in/bangalore/kadence-xperience-store-koramangala/
Ultimate Frisbee club Koramangala https://www.instagram.com/india.ultimate
National Gallery of Modern Art
INTAC walk http://www.intachblr.org
Cluesday — Tuesdays 9 pm quiz at Vapour Indiranagar https://lbb.in/bangalore/cluesday-on-tuesday-at-vapour-bff77f/
Grips go-karting and bowling https://www.gripsgokarting.com/
Bowling, laser tag, VR https://www.thegridbangalore.com
Play Arena Sarjapur https://playarena.in
Kasavanahalli lake, Sarjapur
Rangshankara for theatre https://www.rangashankara.org/home/rangashankara
Sri Sri Ravisahnkar ashram
Snow City https://snowcityblr.com
Central Library, Cubbon Park as well as BTM
Embassy International Riding School https://www.embassyridingschool.in
KR Flower Market https://app.urbanaut.in/spot/kr-flower-market
Pedals in tandem https://www.pedalintandem.com
Champaca bookstore and cafe for a relaxed reading corner https://champaca.in
Sumukha art gallery https://www.sumukha.com
1ShanthiRoad art gallery http://1shanthiroad.com
Bangalore Creative Circus https://www.blrcreativecircus.com
Puzzle nights https://twitter.com/PuzzledPintBLR
Flux — arts community Indiranagar https://www.thefluxproject.com