The Precambrian Southern Granulite Terrane (SGT) of south India is well-known for the preservation of high- to ultrahigh-temperature (HT-UHT) granulites, prominently exposed in its central part forming a linear belt referred to as the Kambam UHT belt. This belt also hosts widespread occurrences of mafic granulites that are observed in close spatial association with the HT-UHT granulites. This study presents detailed petrology, geochemistry and geochronology of representative mafic granulites from the area to understand their petrogenesis and tectonic setting. The results demonstrate that mafic granulites are low- to medium-K tholeiites, with continental arc affinity, formed by the partial melting of a subduction-modified enriched mantle source. The composition of the parent mantle source is modelled with a spinel/garnet lherzolite contribution ratio between 100/0 and 70/30, suggesting the mixing of spinel and garnet bearing melts during asthenosphere upwelling. Zircon U–Pb geochronology of mafic granulites constrains their emplacement between 612 Ma and 625 Ma, that subsequently underwent metamorphism between 581 Ma and 531 Ma. This overlaps with the timing of HT-UHT metamorphism in the Kambam UHT belt bracketed between 593 and 532 Ma. Zircon Hf isotopic studies reveal parent magma generation from reworked melting sources involving Archean and Proterozoic components. These results propose an alternative heat source for the formation of HT-UHT granulites in the Kambam UHT belt which can be designated as a major terrane boundary within the SGT.