Li Gotami’s original name was Rati Petit. She was the daughter of an industrialist from Mumbai and had been to school in England and France. Li Gotami attended the Slade School of Art in London and studied with several artists in India. She earned numerous prizes for her photography. She became famous for her pictures from Tibet.
Li Gotami went to study in Shantineketan where she met her husband Lama Anagarika Govinda. Together they travelled to western Tibet in the 1940s.