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The Precambrian geological history of Peninsular India covers nearly 3.0 Ga. The Peninsula is an assembly of five different cratonic nuclei known as the Aravalli–Bundelkhand, Eastern Dharwar, Western Dharwar, Bastar and Singhbhum cratons along with the Southern Granulite Province. Final amalgamation of these elements occurred either by the end of the Archaean (2.5 Ga) or by the end of the Palaeoproterozoic (c. 1.6 Ga). Each of these nuclei contains one or more sedimentary basins (or metasedimentary basins) of Proterozoic age. This chapter provides an overview of each of the cratons and a brief description of the Precambrian sedimentary basins in India that form the focus of the remainder of this book. In our view, it appears that basin formation and subsequent closure can be grossly constrained to three separate intervals that also broadly correspond to the assembly and disaggregation of the supercontinents Columbia, Rodinia and Gondwana. The oldest Purana-I basins developed during the 2.5–1.6 Ga interval, Purana-II basins formed during the 1.6–1.0 Ga interval and the Purana-III basins formed during the Neoproterozoic–Cambrian interval.

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