The arrested, prograde amphibolite- to granulite-facies transition at Kabbaldurga, south India, overprints Archacan amphibolite-facies nebulitic gneisses and the late Archaean Closepet granite. Previous studies have shown that this facies transition was controlled by a channelled influx of a dehydrating fluid, assumed to be CO2, at ∼750°C and 5.5 kbar confining pressure. The effect of this type of prograde transition on zircon U-Pb isotopic systematics and whole-rock geochemistry has been studied using ∼1 kg amphibolite-facies, transitional and granulite-facies domains from a single block of gneiss. The zircon populations from all three domains have essentially similar morphology and U-Pb systematics. This similarity shows that at the conditions under which the prograde granulite-facies transition took place via fluid influx, the zircon U-Pb systematics were not disturbed by the process. Using the pooled data from all three domains, it is concluded that the protolith of the gneiss formed at 2965±4 Ma (2σ), and that zircons also grew during an anatectic event common to all domains at 2528±5 Ma. The granulite-facies metamorphism has not been dated directly due to the lack of response to the zircon U-Pb isotopic systematies to it. However, field and petrographic criteria dictate that its maximum age is 2528±5 Ma, the age of the anatectic event common to each domain in the gneiss block, which was overprinted during the granulite-facies event. For most major and trace elements, consistent enrichment or depletion trends associated with the transition to granulite facies cannot be identified with confidence. However, the granulite-facies portion is LREE (light-rare-earth-element)-enriched and H (heavy) REE-depleted compared with the amphibolite-facies domain, and the transitional domain is at intermediate values. The isotopic and geochemical evidence presented supports the conclusion that the granulite-facies charnockitic rocks at Kabbaldurga were not formed by removal of an anatectic melt, but that they formed later by simple metamorphic overprint of amphibolite-facies rocks. © 1992 Springer-Verlag.