The 40-year-old brought the curtain down on a 24-year career which has seen him play more Tests and score more runs than any man in history as India claimed a comfortable win over the West Indies.
The atmosphere at his home Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai had been at fever pitch throughout the two-and-a half days of the match with fans eager to see him score a 101st century to complete a fairytale ending.
That was not to be as he was dismissed for 74 on day two but he helped his team to a Test victory for the 72nd time and then, in a long and emotional farewell speech, encouraged his team-mates to continue to 'serve the nation'.
"My life between 22 yards for 22 years, it's hard to believe that wonderful journey is coming to an end," he said at the post match presentations shown on Sky Sports 2.
"You are like my family away from home, I have had some wonderful times with you.
"It's going to be difficult not to be part of the dressing room sharing those special moments.
"All the coaches for their guidance, it's been special for me.
"I know when MS Dhoni presented me with the 200th Test match cap on the day one morning. I had a brief message for the team, I would like to repeat that.
"I just feel that all of us are so so fortunate and proud to be part of the Indian cricket team.
"Knowing all of you guys, I know you will continue to serve the nation in the right spirit, the right values.
"I believe we have been the lucky ones. We have been chosen by the almighty to serve this wonderful sport.
"Each generation gets this opportunity to merely take care of the sport and to serve it to the best of our ability.
"I have full faith in you that you will continue to serve the nation in the right spirit to the best of your ability and bring all the laurels to your country."
Tendulkar also thanked his family and friends in a 20-minute speech before he was hoisted up and taken on a long lap of honour.
When the last wicket fell Tendulkar ran to his team-mates and began shaking hands before grabbing a stump to keep as a souvenir.
As he waved to the cheering crowd, stump in hand, his team-mates formed a loose guard of honour which jogged in two groups either side of him and he appeared to be on the brink of tears, wiping his eyes as he reached the boundary.
The words 'Legends never retire' appeared on the big screen and the West Indies players and officials came down to meet him before Tendulkar disappeared up the steps and off the field of play for the final time.
Tendulkar's 74 on the second day of the Test after starting on an overnight 38 contributed to the home side's 495 in reply to the tourists' 182. The West Indies were then dismissed for just 187 in their second innings as they lost by an innings and 26 runs.
Tendulkar's tally of 100 centuries is just one of many records he has amassed since making his debut for the national side on November 15, 1989.
He ended his career with 15,921 runs in the Test arena at an average of 53.78 and an overall average of 48.53 with 34,357 runs in all forms of the game.
A treble-hundred evaded him however, with his highest score being 248 not out against Bangladesh.
Tendulkar holds dozens of batting records, including most runs and centuries in both Tests and one-day internationals.