Gayatri Joshi attended the Mount Carmel High School, Nagpur. She along with her family shifted to Mumbai and there she attended the J.B. Vachha High School. After her school education was completed, she enrolled at the Sydenham College in Mumbai. She started modelling career during college days and initially modelled for brands like LG, Godrej, Bombay Dyeing, Ponds, Philips, Sunsilk, as well as with the superstar Shahrukh Khan in the Hyundai Car commercial. Simultaneously she also obtained her B.Com degree.
She participated in the Miss India Contest in 199 and unfolded as one of the five finalists. Thereafter, she represented the country at the International beauty pageant Miss International beauty held in Japan in 1999.
Having already established as an accomplished model, she made her appearance in Calendar and Seasons Catalogue in 2001.
During the course of her modelling career, she also featured in two music videos, Jagjit Singh's 'Sagar Ki Kashti' and Hansraj Hans' 'Jhanjaria'.
She made her cinematic debut by being cast opposite the superstar Shahrukh Khan in Ashutosh Gowariker’s film Swades in 2004. Her performance was well appreciated and also won her the best debutant award at various award functions. However, the movie didn’t do well at the box-office. She created a lot of buzz when she appeared in a commercial alongside the ace cricketer Virender Sehwag.