Thousands of ecstatic supporters of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gathered at Sydney’s Allphones Arena, dancing and singing and chanting “Modi, Modi” as they waited to hear his address.
Hundreds of fans arrived at Central Station morning after a 12-hour journey from Southern Cross station in Melbourne.
Draped in Australian and Indian flags, fans of Modi danced and sang in the concourse of Central after the train pulled into the station.
More than 16,000 are expected inside Allphones Arena Monday afternoon with another 5,000 to watch the event on big screens in the concourse outside. The event is also being streamed live to India.
Modi is the first Indian prime minister to visit Australia in 28 years.
In September, more than 16,000 members of the Indian-American community packed into Madison Square Garden in New York for a civic reception for Modi.
He also spoke to a crowd of 6,000 in Central Park as part of the Global Citizen Festival when he appeared with Australian actor Hugh Jackman.
High-spirited passengers packed into the four carriages of the Modi Express for the 12-hour train journey from Melbourne to hear the prime minister speak.
The carriages were decorated with the tricolours of the Indian flag and mango leaves were strung over the doorways.
Passengers chanted “Modi, Modi, Modi” and danced and sang during the journey. The passengers were treated to traditional vegetarians dishes during the trip. The group arrived just before 7a.m. at Sydney’s Central Station.
Modi, who is on a three-nation sojourn, arrived in Sydney from Brisbane earlier in the day.