These communities in Bengaluru help new entrants to the city find friends

New to Bengaluru and lonely because you have no friends here? Check out these networking communities in the city

Updated - June 10, 2024 06:12 pm IST

Published - June 10, 2024 09:00 am IST - Bengaluru

 A group session at the The Hole in the Wall cafe.

 A group session at the The Hole in the Wall cafe. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

If you’ve moved cities or countries alone in your twenties or thirties, you’ve likely spent more than a few weekend nights at home, ruing your isolated existence. Travelling across a new space can be a lonely experience, especially for working professionals.

“Social life starts to shrink, and for a lot of us, we kind of get limited with the people we are working with,” says Sagar Agarwal, one of the founders of Oopar Club, a funded startup that offers membership at a minimal fee.  

In general, adults find it harder to let their guard down, become vulnerable, and connect with other individuals. And with social networking mostly focused on professional networking and dating, finding a new friend circle as you get older can be challenging. 

In response to this, several organisations have sprouted across the city that are trying to create a safe space for individuals to interact, forge friendships and create new communities. 

Here are some of them:

 People socialising and enjoying the art workshop.

 People socialising and enjoying the art workshop. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Oopar Club

Sagar Agarwal talks about the raison d’etre of the Oopar Club, a Bengaluru-headquartered social community. “Adult life is different from school or college days where we are constantly exposed to our friends,” he says, pointing out that most relationships we forge at this stage of life are with colleagues. The Oopar Club hopes to change that by offering “a space in your life outside of your work where you can continuously meet and interact with people.”

Established in 2022 by three corporate professionals, including Agarwal, the Oopar Club has grown considerably since its inception and has even recently received funding. Offering app-based connectivity and exclusive membership at a nominal fee, the club regularly hosts a range of events, including games, workshops, and discussions, at 12 different venues across Bengaluru, such as Indiranagar, Koramangala, and M.G. Road. With a membership base of over 900 and a presence in cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Chennai, Oopar Club aims to reach 5000 members by the end of this year.

Currently, the company is working on enhancing the app and membership experience, with plans to further diversify the club’s offerings, says Agarwal “ We are focused on curating a community of individuals with an active intent towards socialising, creating a more filtered and engaging crowd”, he explains.

A large participation in offline activities at the Cubbon Park, part of WePlay.Blr meetup.

A large participation in offline activities at the Cubbon Park, part of WePlay.Blr meetup. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT


“People leave their hometowns for education or work and are maybe alone here. This is where we step in”, added Prajwal Bysani, the co-founder of WePlay.Blr, a Bengaluru-based community that helps foster friendships among recent migrants to the city.

The community, which was founded in September 2022 by two architects, Anagha Manjunath and Prajwal Bysani, helps people grow their social circle by organising events in the city. These include Frisbee tournaments, potluck picnics, art picnics, and cake frosting events, among others. “People can come to our events, meet strangers and like-minded individuals,” he says, adding that people have benefitted from offline meetups both personally and professionally. 

Participation in their offline meetups was free until recently when a minimal charge of Rs 100 was imposed to control the crowd. “Earlier there were 20-25 people; however, with over 400 people showing up now, the police have asked us to take certain permissions before organising events,” says Bysani, who hopes to further expand this community.

People grooving at the group jamming session at Letsjam Bangalore.

People grooving at the group jamming session at Letsjam Bangalore. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Letsjam Bangalore

When Sparsh Yadav, the co-founder of Letsjam Bangalore, moved to Bengaluru in December 2022, he began jamming with like-minded friends almost immediately. “Almost 25 of them showed up at my house, and we had a jamming session, which lasted for almost 6 hours. There, I met the other three founders, Abhishek Mishra, Karishma Upadhyay and Goutam Prabhu, and together we thought, let’s take this idea outside to create a community of music lovers,” he says.

This was the starting point for Letsjam Bangalore, a community for the city’s music lovers, which officially organised its first outdoor event in August last year. Paid events end up being conducted once a month, offering gaming, open mic and jamming sessions, all aimed at growing this community. “We do have an open mic where different people get an opportunity to perform, and then people who keep performing themselves have become a good community, a big community,” says Yadav.

They also run a WhatsApp group of all those who keep performing in different places in Bangalore,” highlighting the impact of their interactive jamming sessions,” he says of this Bengaluru-only initiative. 

 Individuals sharing their stories with each other at Human LibraryThe Happiness Café, Koramangala.

 Individuals sharing their stories with each other at Human LibraryThe Happiness Café, Koramangala. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Human Library

Sahil Deshmukh, the founder of the Human Library in Bengaluru, says that he was annoyed by the structure of most events for socialisation in the city. “ All of them were oriented towards making connections between a single man and a single woman; it was not on the stories that they had to tell,” says Deshmukh, who founded the Human Library here in May last year. 

Taking a leaf out of the international Human Library concept, which is all about creating a safe space for people to talk about themselves, Deshmukh says that these sessions allow individuals to build a rapport and share their stories. Even, the introverted attendees, who participate the most in these events, end up feeling comfortable enough to talk under these circumstances. They even now have a WhatsApp community where members can directly reach out to each other.

Currently, the Human Library hosts events only at The Happiness Café, Koramangala, every Sunday, charging a minimal entry fee of ₹150 and ₹250 for men and women, respectively. Deshmukh is currently working on upping the quality of the event and hopes to register as a company next month.

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