President Asif Ali Zardari along with 40 member delegation and family members reached New Delhi on Sunday for a day-long India visit to pay homage at the shrine of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer.

President Asif Ali Zardari will meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visit a Muslim holy shrine in the western Indian state of Rajasthan, said official sources.

After a luncheon to be hosted by Prime Minister Singh, Zardari will move on to visit the famous Ajmer dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the second most sacred shrine after Mecca for South Asian Muslims.

Zardari is accompanied by his son Bilawal, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and a large delegation in two planeloads, which touched down upon Indira Gandhi International Airport at noon.

Earlier, President, Asif Ali Zardari left Pakistan on Sunday for India on a day-long visit to attend a luncheon to be hosted in his honour by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and to offer prayers at shrine of a Muslim saint, officials said.

President Zardari left for New Delhi in his special plane from the city of Lahore, the capital of Punjab province. Senior officials saw him off at the airport.

Official sources said that President Zardari will have a three- hour stay in New Delhi before his onward journey to Ajmer. Local media reported that the President and the Indian Prime Minister are likely to hold one-on-one meeting.

Zardari will travel to the city of Ajmer in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan to visit a shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Gharib Nawaz, a famous Sufi Muslim saint, presidential spokesman said.

The President will offer prayers at the Shrine of saint Hazrat Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz and will return the same day, Zardari's spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar said.

"The president has also accepted luncheon invitation of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi en route to Ajmer Shareef, " the spokesman said in a statement.

The spokesman said that the President's 40-member delegation to New Delhi consists of the Chairman Pakistan People Party and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Interior Minister Rehman Malik, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani and President's personal and security staff, he said.

Zardari will be the first Pakistani head of state to visit India in seven years after then-Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf paid an official visit to India in 2005.

Although the visit is private, the main opposition had called for details and purposes of President Zardari's visit to India, while religious parties had called for cancellation of the visit.

Columnist and TV anchor Hamid Mir said that President Zardari told him that he is surprised at the media hype about his private visit to India. Mir, who works for Geo TV, said that the President had some wish and he would visit a shrine to fulfill his wish. He also insisted the President said that he is not carrying any Foreign Ministry agenda.

But foreign affairs experts said that whenever any top leader of Pakistan visits India, it assumes importance and discussion on key issues cannot be ruled out.

Former Foreign Secretary Akram Zaki said that even brief but background discussions could open new doors and allow both sides to explore new options related to outstanding issues.

"The purpose is to reduce the tension. Nuclear powers cannot go for wars. Status quo is also not a viable option," Zaki said. He said that when heads of states or government meet they try to find out new avenues and to avail the opportunity to chalk out guidelines.