The Palas Dynasty Detailed History

The Palas Dynasty Detailed History-In this article we published detailed history about the Palas empire and about the rulers of this dynasty who ruled in India, read every paragraph carefully to understand about this dynasty and about it’s rulers.

The Palas

The province of Bengal, from AD 650 to 750, after the death of Harsha, was subjected to internal disorder, anarchy and confusion referred to as Matsyanyaya (the rule of strong devouring the weak). This gave birth to a revolution by the people, in which the local chief Gopala was elected (Grahita) by the leading men of Bengal. The dynasty founded by Gopala ruled for nearly 4th Centuries.

The Palas were earnest followers of Buddhism, which developed newer tantric forms and was revived under their patronage.

➤Scholars have not yet been able to locate their capital with certainty, but it may have been Mudgagiri (Munghyr), from where the Pala kings issued several grants. The Palas were great patrons of art and literature.
➤ Vincent Smith has mentioned the names of two artists, Dhiman and his son Vitapala, who “Acquired the highest fame for their skill as painters and sculptors”.
The Palas Dynasty Detailed History

Monasteries were generously endowed; being the most effective agencies for the promotion of learning and religion. The noted Buddhist scholars, Santarakshita and Dipankara (Atisa) went to Tibet on a Buddhist mission about the middle of the 11th Century. The Palas were, however, by no means unfavourable towards Hinduism. They freely made gifts to Brahmins, and even constructed temples in honour of Hindu Gods. A Buddhist monk Srijanana in his later years went to Java and learnt Buddhist scriptures there, as mentioned in the Tibetan work of Kalyan Mitra Phyag-sopra.

Gopala (AD 750-770)

He was the founder of the pala dynasty and consolidated his authority over almost the whole of Bengal. He was an ardent Buddhist. According to Tibetan Lama, Taranatha, Gopala built. the celebrated monastery at Odantapura (Modern Biharsharif).

Dharmapala (AD 770-810)

Son and successor of Gopala, who raised the Pala kingdom to greatness. Soon after his accession, Dharmapala got involved in a struggle with the two main. powers of the time i.e. the Pratiharas and the Rashtrakutas. He was one of the party to tripartite struggle (Others were Vatsaraja Pratihara and Dhruva Rashtrakuta). He defeated Indrayudha and installed Chakrayudha as his own nominee on the throne of Kannauj.

  • Dharmapala was defeated by Vatsaraja and Dhruva.
  • Despite these reverses, he held a grand durbar at Kannauj, after the retreat of the Rashtrakutas and the defeat of the Vatsaraja by Dhruva.
  • The Sanjan plate inscription mentions that Dharmapala and Chakrayudha surrendered themselves to Govinda III Rashtrakuta.
  • He was defeated for the second time by the Pratihara Nagabhatta II who seized Kannauj from Chakrayudha. Though, this defeat ended the Dharmapala’s dream of supremacy in North but, the subsequent defeat of Nagabhatta II by the Rashtrakuta Govinda III provided him opportunity to overcome the defeat.
  • He was a Buddhist and is said to have founded the famous Buddhist establishment (university) at Vikramashila (Bhagalpur district). He is also created with the construction of Vihara at Somapura (Paharpur).

Devapala (AD 810-850)

He is considered as the mightiest Pala King. A great patron of Buddhism and he constructed Temples and Monasteries in Magadha. According to Taranath he was ‘Restore of Buddhism. He made virdeva the President of Nalanda University Arab merchant sule man who visited India in AD 850 intentional him as “Ruhma” (Dharma). However, the glory of Palas suffered irretrievably with the death of Devapala. The rule of his successors was marked by a steady process of disintegration. Devapala was succeeded by Vigrahapala. After a short reign of three or four years, Vigrahapala abdicated the throne.

Narayanapala (AD 854-915)

  • He was the son and successor of Vigrahapala. The Bhagalpur inscription records that in the seventeenth year of his reign he granted from Mudgagiri (Munghyr) a village in Tira – Bhukti (Tirhut) to the shrine of Shiva and built one thousand temples in the honour of the same deity.
  • During his reign Magadh along with North Bengal was lost to Gujara Pratiharas, East Bengal came under Chandras and, the Pala authority was limited to: Western and Southern Bengal. He was succeeded by his son Rajyapala who was succeeded in turn by his son Gopala II. The rule of these two rulers proved disastrous for the Pala power. A series of invasions led by the Chandellas and the Kalchuris dismembered the Pala Empire.
  • Vigrahapala II succeeded to the Pala king Gopala II.

Mahipala (AD 988-1038)

  • He was the son of Vigrahapala II. Ascended the throne in AD 980. Rajendra Cholá invaded his State and defeated Mahipala. The Tirumalai inscription of Rajendra records the detail of his conquest in the North. The invasion however, did not lead to the establishment of the Chola suzerainty over Bengal.
  • Considered as the restorer of Pala prestige, Pala power had once more revived under him. He succeeded in reestablishing his authority over North, West and East Bengal and in extending his territories upto Benaras in West. In this he has also been called as the founder of the second Pala Empir
  • Some scholars are of the opinion that the success of Mahipala was in a large manner due to the repeated invasions of Sultan Mahmud which must have exhausted the strength and resources of the Rajput powers in Northern India.
  • Revolt of Kaivartas took place during his period. After his death, the Pala power declined on account of internal dissensions and external invasions. His successors were weak. Thus, by the middle of the 12th Century, the Pala power had faded.

Rampala (AD 1077-1120)

  • Expeditions against Kaivartas – suppressed them and captured their chief.
  • Finds mention in Sandhyakara Nandi’s book Ramcharitra, which is the biography of Rampala.

Kumarpala (AD 1124-1129)

Revolt of Kamroop took place during his reign, which was suppressed by his minister Vaidyadeva.

Madanpala (AD 1143-1162)

He was the last ruler and was expelled by Vijayasena, who founded the new Sena Dynasty.

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