Rotavirus (RV) infection causes acute infantile diarrhoea in humans and animals and remains a major concern for vaccine development. The close proximity of humans to animals may foster cross-species infection resulting in the emergence of novel/unusual strains by genetic reassortment. In this study, we characterized 500 diarrhoeal samples for group A rotaviruses (RVA) from children (n = 290), piglets (n = 95) and calves (n = 115) in Northeast India during 2012–2013. The data showed that 142/500 (28·4%) faecal samples were positive for RVA with the highest level of infection detected in piglets (57/142, 40·1%) followed by children (51/142, 35·9%) and calves (34/142, 23·9%). Sequence-based G- and P-typing showed G1P (25%) and G1P (35%) were the prevailing genotypes in both humans and animals. Single cases of unusual genotypes, i.e. G9P, G5P in humans and G1P, G1P and G3P in animals were also identified. Cluster analyses of the sequences showed regional strains were genetically closer to their homologous strains. However, human G5P and porcine G1P strains showed homology to heterologous hosts of their prototype strains. The subsequent global spread of unusual RV strains may result in their establishment over time, presenting challenges to future vaccine evaluation programmes. More studies on emerging genotypes are required to elucidate how RVA strains evolve post-vaccination. This study supports the need for continuous surveillance of RVA infections after detecting from diverse hosts in a common setting.