Modi flew to Delhi’s IGI airport from Gujarat shortly before 11:00 am (0530 GMT) to bask in the glory of a landslide for his Bharatiya Janata Party.
A crowd, waiting since early morning but entertained by a marching band and thumping dance music, burst through police barricades at the sight of the 63-year-old leader’s cavalcade.
“Modi is our lion! He will work for the people of India, he will work for development, he will work for every Indian,” shouted Om Dutt, a 39-year-old shop owner.
Modi, wearing a blue jacket and shirt, opened the door of his car while it drove along, as many strained for a glimpse, took videos on their mobile phones and showered the vehicle in petals.
The BJP won the first majority in Parliament for 30 years on Friday after a campaign by Modi focused on delivering new jobs, development and clean government.
The triumph redrew India’s political map, handing him a huge mandate for change, and heaping humiliation on the ruling Gandhi political dynasty.
“He made Gujarat great, he will make India great,” said BJP party worker and businessman Rahul Sethi, 45, as he waited for his hero at the airport.