High-pressure mafic granulites (retrograded eclogites?) were discovered as minor lenses enclosed in garnet-kyanite-cordierite gneiss from the Badu Complex of the East Cathaysia terrane in South China. These rocks consist mainly of garnet, clinopyroxene, hornblende, quartz, and rutile/ilmenite with or without omphacite pseudomorphs that are indicated by clinopyroxene + sodic plagioclase symplectic intergrowths. Mineral textures and reaction relationships suggest three metamorphic stages: (1) an eclogite-facies stage (M1) characterized by the mineral assemblage of garnet + clinopyroxene (omphacite) + hornblende + rutile + quartz; (2) a high-pressure granulite-facies (M2) stage mainly represented by garnet + clinopyroxene + plagioclase + hornblende + rutile + quartz in the matrix; and (3) an amphibolite retrograde stage (M3) defined by hornblende + plagioclase + ilmenite + quartz symplectites surrounding garnet porphyroblasts. Conventional geothermometers and geobarometers in combination with phase equilibria modeling constrain metamorphic P–T conditions of 15.8–18.2 kbar/625–690 °C (M1), 11.8–14.5 kbar/788–806 °C (M2), and 5.4–6.4 kbar/613–668 °C (M3), respectively. Two-staged decompression processes are defined after the peak pressure, which suggests a two-staged exhumation of these deeply buried rocks. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) zircon U-Pb dating and trace element analysis show that the high-pressure metamorphism occurred at 240–244 Ma. Complete early Mesozoic orogenic processes characterized by initial subduction and/or crustal thickening and subsequent exhumation followed by rapid uplift are reconstructed for this part of the East Cathaysia terrane, South China.