The timing of high-pressure (HP) metamorphism in the eastern Himalayan syntaxis is important for understanding the India-Asia collisional processes, but it remains elusive. To reveal the metamorphic history of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis, we performed a study of geochronology, trace elements, and mineral inclusions of detrital zircon and monazite from modern stream sediments in the eastern Himalayan syntaxis. Detrital zircon comprise magmatic and metamorphic domains with different zoning. Inherited magmatic zircon domains have high Th/U, low (Dy/Yb)N, and retain ages of 1798–360 Ma. Metamorphic zircon domains with low Th/U, high (Dy/Yb)N, and inclusions of garnet, kyanite, and/or clinopyroxene probably formed under HP conditions. They yield age groups of 49–35 Ma, 33–17 Ma, and 12–7 Ma. The low Th/U and low (Dy/Yb)N metamorphic zircon domains probably formed during retrogression and yield age groups of 27–16 Ma and 10–6 Ma. Detrital monazite yield age distributions similar to those of the low (Dy/Yb)N metamorphic zircon except for the 821–402 Ma inherited cores. The (Dy/Yb)N of 31.6–5.7 Ma monazite decreases with increasing Y content, which indicates that it likely formed under the retrograde stage during garnet breakdown. Based on the oldest metamorphic ages, the initial India-Asia collision occurred no later than 50–44 Ma in the eastern Himalayan syntaxis. The multimodal age patterns of the metamorphic zircon and monazite indicate that the Indian continent underwent multistage HP and retrograde metamorphism in the eastern Himalayan syntaxis. The nearly contemporaneous HP and retrograde metamorphism indicate that the Indian continent continued subducting while the earlier HP metamorphic slices detached and exhumed.

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