In the High Himalayan Crystalline Series of Northwest India, numerous peraluminous granites intruded the metasediments of the late Proterozoic to early late Cambrian Haimanta Group. Nd and Sr isotope systematics confirm that they were derived from heterogeneous crustal sources. New geochronological data from two plutons range in age from late Precambrian to early Ordovician: single zircon U–Pb dating yielded an age of 553 ± 2 (2σ) Ma for the Kaplas granite, whereas mineral Sm–Nd isotope systematics define a crystallization age of 496 ± 14 (2σ) Ma for the tholeiitic mafic rocks in the Mandi pluton, where evidence of magma mingling documents a close association between mafic and granitic melts. The end of this period of magmatic activity coincides with the depositional gap below the Ordovician transgression, caused by surface uplift and erosion, that is an important feature in the stratigraphy of the Northwest Himalaya. In Spiti, the transgression of the Ordovician basal conglomerates on a normal fault indicates pre-Ordovician extensional faulting. Therefore, the early Palaeozoic magmatic activities in the Northwest Himalaya could be correlated with a late extensional stage of the long-lasting Pan-African orogenic cycle which ended with the formation of the Gondwana supercontinent.