Gautam is a mythological Hindu sage (Rishi) and one of the seven Rishis. Hindu scriptures have named them as saptarishis, that is, the seven sages. The seven sages were Kashyapa, Atri, Vashitha, Vishvamitra, Gautam, Jamdagni, and Bharadvaja. According to Hindu mythology, these seven sages had become like divine beings. Ancient astrology of Hindus identified these seven sages with the stars of the sky, the Great Bear. Their wives formed the Pleiades.
The Rig Veda has several 'hymns' that go with his name. Sage Gautam is one of the greatest amongst all Saptarshis (seven sages). He was the son of Rahugana. He married to Ahalya and had two sons Vamadeva and Nodhas both themselves discoverers of Mantras. Ramayan and Mahabharatha have references to Sage Gautam as he lived during these two Yugas.
Sage Gautam's sixty-year-long penance is mentioned in the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata. He is the progenitor of the Gautama gotra.