He was the twenty third king of Satavahanas and ruled for twenty four years. He was the son of Sivaswathi and Gautami Balasri. Gautami Balasri was his mother, who issued the famous Nasik inscription and glorified the reign of Gautami Putra Satakarni.
He was honored with many titles which include;
- Trisamudra Thoya Peetavahana,
- Eka Bramhana,
- Kshatriya Darpamana Vardhana,
- Aagama Nilaya,
- Dakshina Samudradeeswara,
- Eka Sura,
- Dwijakula Vardhana,
- Kshaharatavamsa Nirmulana Kartha,
- Vinavarthi Chaturvarna Sankara,
- Raja Raja,
- Sakayavana Pahlava Nighadhanudu
With his accession to the throne Salivahana Year started. Salivahana Year was followed by the king of Devagiri, Ramachandra. He was the only king who followed this calendar. During his reign, Satavahana rulers stated tagging their mothers' names infront of their names.
He defeated Nahapana of Kshaharata near Nasik and acquired Anupa, Aparantha, Saurastra, Avanti and Kukura regions. The silver coins issued by him bears claws on one side and the rising sun on the other side. He shifted his capital from Amaravati to Pratisthanapura after defeating Nahapana.
Struggle between Saka rulers and Satavahanas continued during his reign over trade with Romans. He occupied a sea port named Vaijayanthi. According to Junagarh inscription, Rudradaman of Sakas defeated Gautamiputra Satakarni. He conquered Vidarbha, Asmaka, Mulaka regions.
His mother Gautami issued an inscription at Nasik with all his victories inscribed on the same. The inscription was issued in Prakrit. This inscription was written by Sivaswamy and Mahaswamy under the supervision on Gautami. Karle inscription was issued by Gautamiputra Satakarni.
He constructed the caves of Bhaja and caves of Betsa. He constructed the city of Benakataka in Govardhana region. He followed Vedic relion and supported Buddhism at the same time. He donated caves of Nasik to Badranaya Buddhists.