Carlsen was met by around 50 journalists and 200 fans, many clutching Norwegian flags, when he came out in the arrivals hall at 5.15pm on Wednesday. He raised the trophy above his head in a victory gesture.
"It's great to be home. I really appreciate that there is such a huge crowd here," he said in a brief press conference. "I'm already looking forward to defending the title, no matter who the opponent is."
For the immediate future, he added, "I'm just going to sleep and relax."
￼The 22-year-old chess genius unseated reigning world champion Viswanathan Anand on Friday in a triumph that chess legend Garry Kasparov, who once coached Carlsen for a year, hailed as the start of "a new era" in the game.
"Carlsen is a force of nature whose time has come and there was little Anand could do to slow the inevitable in Chennai," Kasparov wrote of the match.
Carlsen won three games and drew seven to beat his 43-year-old opponent.
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The water cannon salute was given in 2009 to the plane which delivered singer and violinist Alexander Rybak after he won the Eurovision Song Contest.