Siddhivinayak Ganpati Mandir in Mehsana has made its own niche in the country. Probably Mehsana is the only place in the country where Lord Ganesha gets guard of honour on his birthday. The tradition of giving state honour to the Lord on Ganesh Chaturthi is now 78 years old. It was started in Mehsana by Gaikwad rulers, recall the old timers.
“People in Mehsana are proud of the fact that we have kept the tradition alive for such a long period,” said Mahanth Ganesh Dasji of the Ganpati temple.

Superintendent of police (SP), Mehsana, R J Sawani said, “The custom is now rooted in the culture of the place.

Offering guard of honour to the Lord on Ganesha Chaturthi has become a part of cultural history of Mehsana.”
“It has also become a part of our faith. We put forward our demands in his court on his birthday and the Lord invariably sanctions them. This is our unshakable belief,” said Mukund Patel, the vice president of the civic body here.

“Last year, we had prayed for keeping our town free of epidemics like swine flu and also sought his mercy in form of good monsoon. He granted both,” Patel said, adding, “This time, we have urged the Lord to uphold a balance in the sex ratio of male and female in our area in the current census year. In 2001, our district had finished at the bottom.”

Launched by Agashe Sahib, the well-known Suba of Mehsana, in 1933 in the presence of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaikwad, it kind of became a tradition in the coming years. Offering guard of honour to Lord Ganesha on behalf of the Gaikwad state became a custom which has since been continuing. Chairman of Utsav Samiti Manu Wardhiwala said, “Sayajirao Gaikwad would pay regular visits to the Siddhivinayak temple and invariably offer prayer to the Lord.”

“There was a break in 2005, when the tradition could not be observed for some reason. As a result, people had to go through a lot of hardship. We witnessed calamities like torrential rains and flood and also the outbreak of fatal diseases,” said Mahanth Ganesh Das.

Read more: Lord Ganesha gets guard of honour in Mehsana – The Times of India