In the sheared and foliated granitoids of the Proterozoic Gavilgarh–Tan Shear Zone (GTSZ) in central India, two types of pseudotachylite (Pt-M and Pt-C) are recognized. Pt-M layers are interbanded with mylonite and ultramylonite, show strong internal plastic deformation and buckle folding concurrent with the host rocks, and appear to have formed within the greenschist facies (300–400 °C) in the brittle–plastic transitional (semi-brittle) regime. Pt-C layers show sharp contacts with the host rock, exhibit abundant coeval cataclasis, preserve no evidence of subsequent plastic deformation, and formed at shallower depths, at temperature <300 °C. Sulphide droplets and embayment of quartz grain margins in the pseudotachylite (Pt-C) matrix indicates a melt origin. Ductile shear sense criteria in the host mylonites are consistently sinistral, while those associated with the deformed pseudotachylite (Pt-M) layers are dextral. It appears therefore that the host mylonite/ultramylonite foliation experienced reactivated slip movement in the ‘semi-brittle’ zone when pseudotachylite was generated and subsequently ductilely deformed. The brittle pseudotachylite (Pt-C) layers were generated later at a shallower level, and at a lower temperature. They are spatially associated with a set of foliation-parallel brittle shears with sinistral-sense displacements. The multiple episodes of frictional melt generation within the Gavilgarh–Tan Shear Zone illustrate that it has a complex history of multiple reactivations. It therefore represents an important new area for the study of seismic behaviour of the upper crust along pre-existing structures and may facilitate a better geological understanding of the present seismic activity in the central Indian Shield.