On 29 March 1949, Sardar Patel along with his daughter Maniben and Yadvendra Singh left for Rajasthan by plane from Delhi. An engine failure occurred mid-way and the plane's contact with the radio was cut off. The driver of the aircraft landed the aircraft in the riverbed, which saved Patel.
When Patel returned to Delhi, hundreds of countrymen gave him a grand welcome at the airport. Patel was accorded an unprecedented welcome by MPs in Parliament. The proceedings of Parliament were stopped for half an hour in his honour. Patel was given honorary degrees of Doctor of Law by Panjab University and Osmania University.