The right-hander was among the 14 awardees to receive the honour from President Pranab Mukherjee.
Kohli said it was a "surreal experience" to be presented with Arjuna Award.
"Cant describe the feeling while getting the arjuna award. Surreal experience. Big honour. #happy #proud," Kohli tweeted on Saturday.
Kohli was the star attraction at the awards ceremony. He was given a thunderous applause while receiving the Arjuna award.
The 24-year-old has made a rapid rise in international cricket since making debut for India in 2008. In five years, he has become on the most prolific batsmen in the team.
Kohli also led India during the Zimbabwe ODI series and took them to a historic 5-0 triumph. The Delhi boy had also captained India to Under-19 World Cup glory.
Since making his ODI debut in August, 2008, Kohli has scored 4,575 runs in 113 matches. He has hit 15 hundreds in the 50-over format.
In 18 Tests, he has 1,175 runs with four centuries and six fifties. He has also played 20 Twenty20 Internationals.