Determination of zircon ages as well as geochemical and Sm–Nd isotope systematics of granitoids in the Khetri Copper Belt of the Aravalli mountains, NW India, constrain the late Palaeoproterozoic crustal evolution of the Aravalli craton. The plutons are typical A-type within-plate granites, derived from melts generated in an extensional tectonic environment. They display REE and multi-element patterns characterized by steep LREE-enriched and almost flat HREE profiles and distinct negative anomalies for Sr, P and Ti. Initial εNd values range from − 1.3 to − 6.2 and correspond to crustal sources with mean crustal residence ages of 2.5 to 2.1 Ga. A lower mafic crustal anatectic origin is envisaged for these granitoids, and the heterogeneous εNd(t) values are inferred to have been acquired from the magma source region. Zircon Pb–Pb evaporation and U–Pb ages indicate widespread rift-related A-type magmatism at 1711–1660 Ma in the northern Delhi belt and also suggest a discrete older magmatic event at around 1800 Ma. The emplacement ages of the compositionally distinct A-type granitoid plutons, and virtually coeval granulite metamorphism and exhumation in another segment of the Aravalli mountains, further signify that part of the Aravalli crust evolved during a widespread extensional event in late Palaeoproterozoic time.