"I express my hearty thanks," he told reporters at the airport when asked about the Centre announcing the award for him.
Last week, the 65-year-old star had tweeted that he was "feeling deeply honoured "on being chosen for Padma Vibhsuan.
"Feeling deeply honoured for being awarded the Padma Vibhushan. My heartfelt thanks to my dear fans, well wishers & friends for all the wishes," the Enthiran star had posted on his social media page.
The star actor's eagerly anticipated movie Kabali, has entered the final shooting schedule even as the actor proceeded today to Malaysia to wrap up the shooting.
Rajinikanth will also star in ace director Shankar's 2.O (Enthiran 2) the sequel to the duo's previous sci-fi hit Enthiran.
Also starring Amy Jackson and Akshay Kumar in important roles, the film based on robots, is India's costliest project ever with an estimated budget of 350 Crore rupees. It is bankrolled by Lyca Productions.