Abstract Texturally controlled dating of zircon from Paleoarchean tonalite–trondhjemite–granodiorites of the Older Metamorphic Tonalitic Gneisses and the Singhbhum Granite batholith (Phases I, II, and III) from the Singhbhum craton in eastern India reveals a polycyclic evolution of the Archean crust. The granitoid suites were emplaced in two pulses at 3.45–3.44Ga and 3.35–3.32Ga. Tonalites and trondhjemites of the Older Metamorphic Tonalitic Gneisses were emplaced at ca. 3.45–3.44Ga together with Phase III of the Singhbhum Granite pluton while granites belonging to the Older Metamorphic Tonalitic Gneisses were emplaced at ca. 3.35–3.32 together with Phase I and Phase II of the Singhbhum Granite pluton. Both crustal units underwent an early phase of relatively high-grade metamorphism at 3.30–3.28Ga followed by extensive fluid-induced alteration during low-grade metamorphism at 3.19–3.12Ga, and 3.02–2.96Ga. The two units have also been marginally affected at ca. 2.52Ga and 1.06Ga by major metamorphic events in the North Singhbhum Mobile Belt and the Singhbhum shear zone at the northern margin of the craton. The zircon grains in granites have inherited cores with ages of ca. 3.61Ga and 3.46–3.41Ga and with well-developed oscillatory growth zonation which suggests the granitic magmas were derived by partial melting of an igneous precursor or sedimentary rocks derived from an igneous source. The emplacement of the expansive granitoids belonging to the Older Metamorphic Tonalitic Gneisses and the Singhbhum Granite was synchronous with the amphibolite-facies metamorphism (ca. 3.32Ga) of older meta-igneous and metasedimentary rocks belonging to the Older Metamorphic Group. Major felsic crust formation in the craton occurred in a narrow time interval between 3.46 and 3.32Ma with minor contributions of material as old as 3.6Ga. The complex polycyclic evolution of the Paleoarchean crust in the Singhbhum craton can account for the wide range of often disparate ages obtained using whole rock isochron dating techniques with some of the isochron dates being geologically meaningful while others representing mixing lines or disturbance of the isotopic systems during metamorphism.