Gayatri Jayaraman was born on 27 September 1984 to Jayaraman, an auditor, and Chitra, a housewife. She was educated at Adarsh Vidyalaya and then Church Park in Mumbai. Gayatri grew up in Shahabad near Gulbarga till she was four years old before her family headed to Madras. She spent a year in Bangalore when in her eighth standard and this helped her pick up Kannada. Gayatri initially wanted to pursue a career in medicine and despite getting 94 percent in board exams, she did not get a medical seat, and hence began reading a B.Sc in Life Science at IGNOU. Gayatri balanced her time between modeling and education and thus also went on to study physiotherapy at SRM College in Chennai.
She took up her first modelling assignments for Nailli Silks, followed by Kumaran Silks, Pothys and Chennai Silks while also participating in the beauty pageants, winning the Miss Tamil Nadu title in October, 1997 and Miss South India title in 1998. She entered the final stages of Femina Miss India 2000, after being selected among the 26 finalists from 8000 entries and made it through to the final 5, eventually finishing fourth. She has also been a video jockey on television, having appeared for Fanta “Illimai Pudhumai” on Sun TV and “Telephone Manipol” on Vijay TV.
Gayathri Jayaraman started her career as an actress with director K. Balachander’s tele-serial Azhukku Veshti and rejected offers from promienent directors such as Arjun before she decided to make her debut by featuring in Nagabharana’s Neela. Neela, a Kannada film about a tibal singer with cancer, won critical acclaim at the box office and was selected as one of the thirty-two Indian films to feature at the International Film Festival of India. Gayatri won a Cinema Express Award for her performanc. She next appeared in an item number in Santosh Sivan’s Asoka as a dancer on a boat in the song “Raat Ka Nasha” beside Kareena Kapoor. She made her Tamil film debut after being approached by producer KRG to feature in his Manadhai Thirudivittai opposite Prabhu Deva. Gayatri, post-release, remarked that her role in the film was changed, with Kausalya playing the role that she had signed on to portray. The film became a commercial failure, although her appearance in the song “Manjakattu Mynaa” got her noticed.
Her Telugu film debut was with Srikanth in Aaduthu Paaduthu. before she also went on to feature in a supporting role in Shree alongside Suriya, with Gayatri revealing that her role was chopped by the editors in post-production. She featured in another small role in Vaseegara alongside Vijay and Sneha, before going on to feature in a series of unsuccessful Kannada and Malayalam films. She retired from films after her marriage and is now a certified scuba diving instructor in the Andaman Islands and briefly returned to compere the Chennai Super Kings Cheer Leaders talent show on Vijay TV in 2009. She is one of the anchor of SUPER KUDUMBAM show in SUN TV.
In May 2007 she married Samit Sawhny, an Indian entrepreneur and author, in the Andaman Islands