The Eastern Ghats granulite belt of India has traditionally been described as a Proterozoic mobile belt, with probable Archaean protoliths. However, recent findings suggest that synkinematic development of granulites took place in a compressional tectonic regime and that granulite facies metamorphism resulted from crustal thickening. The field, petrological and geochemical studies of a charnockite massif of tonalitic to trondhjemitic composition, and associated rocks, document granulite facies metamorphism and dehydration partial melting of basic rocks at lower crustal depths, with garnet granulite residues exposed as cognate xenoliths within the charnockite massif. The melting and generation of the charnockite suite under granulite facies conditions have been dated c. 3.0 Ga by Sm–Nd and Rb–Sr whole rock systematics and Pb–Pb zircon dating. Sm–Nd model dates between 3.4 and 3.5 Ga and negative epsilon values provide evidence of early Archaean continental crust in this high-grade terrain.