Guptill, playing his 12th Test, cracked nine fours and a six in his 160-ball knock and shared 147 runs with Tim McIntosh (55 not out) to steady the innings after the early dismissal of opener Brendon McCullum.
McIntosh, who bagged a pair in the drawn first Test in Ahmedabad, overcame a tentative start to complete his fifth Test half-century with a four to the fine-leg boundary.
He had so far hit five fours in his four-hour stay at the wicket which showed signs of easing off after offering early bounce and seam movement.
Ross Taylor (four) was the other not out batsman at the break at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, hosting its first Test.
Guptill brought up his fourth Test half-century and first outside New Zealand with a nicely cut four off left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha.
He looked set for a century but fell leg before wicket to Ojha shortly before tea while trying to work the ball towards the square-leg region.
The tourists were off to a shaky start after electing to bat, losing McCullum (four) in the fourth over of the morning when he edged Shanthakumaran Sreesanth to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Guptill, ignored for the Ahmedabad Test, was given out by Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena after he was caught behind the stumps in Sreesanth’s fourth over.
But Dharmasena consulted with TV umpire Amiesh Saheba, who ruled the delivery to be a no-ball, and Guptill was called back.
Lucky Guptill grew in confidence and twice drove Sreesanth for fours in the same over before lofting off-spinner Harbhajan Singh over the long-on boundary for a six.
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