Clad in white, Modi laid a wreath at Karunanidhi’s feet and bowed before his mortal remains, paying his respect to the late leader.
He later consoled the DMK chief’s family members, including his wife Rajathi and son M K Stalin.
Modi, who arrived in Chennai from New Delhi by a special flight earlier in the morning, was accompanied by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and state unit leaders of the BJP, besides those of the DMK and the AIADMK.
He later had a brief conversation with Rajathi.
He exchanged a few words with Stalin, the DMK’s working president, gently patting him on the back in an apparent gesture of consoling him.
While leaving, Modi spoke to Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi, an MP, as Stalin joined him. Karunanidhi, 94, died at a private hospital yesterday following prolonged illness.
The prime minister in his message had described the DMK chief as a prolific thinker and a deep-rooted mass leader who stood for regional aspiration and national progress.