This paper presents three different age domains, obtained by electron microprobe monazite dating, for granulitic gneisses collected from the Shillong-Meghalaya Gneissic Complex in Sonapahar, NE India, which contain radioactive materials, e.g. thorium (3.32–7.20 wt %), uranium (0.133–1.172 wt %) and lead (0.101–0.513 wt %). The microprobe analyses of monazite grains in the rock samples show that the monazites have three different ages ranging from Mesoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic. The oldest age (1571 ± 22 Ma) represents a peak metamorphic event, the youngest dominant age indicates the Pan-African tectonic event (478 ± 7 Ma) and the intermediate age marks the Grenvillian orogeny (1034 ± 91 Ma) or may be a mixing artefact; these ages are located at the cores, rims and intermediate parts of the monazite grains, respectively. The equilibrium mineral phases calculated for the granulitic gneisses from Sonapahar lie in a P–T range from 5.9 kbar/754 °C to 8.3 kbar/829 °C in the NCKFMASH system. Plotting the P–T conditions of the granulitic gneisses reveals a clockwise P–T path. Two major metamorphic events are observed in Sonapahar. The M1 metamorphic stage is represented by peak mineral assemblages of prograde garnet-forming reactions (8.2 kbar/∼713 °C) during Mesoproterozoic time (1571 ± 22 Ma). The M2 metamorphic stage featured decompression (3.9 kbar/∼701 °C) in which garnet–sillimanite broke down to form cordierite along an isothermal decompression path during the Pan-African tectonic event (478 ± 7 Ma).