During Dharmapala rule, the Palas became the most dominant power in the Northern and Eastern India.
But the extension of empire was not an easy task for Dharmapala. He struggled with the Gurjar Pratiharas, Rastrakutas and Chalukyas. Initial career was with some defeats which include a humiliating defeat in the hands of Nagabhatta II, the Gurjar Pratihara.
When Dharmapala died, his empire covered entire Bihar and Bengal. The Kings of Kannauj , Madra, Kamboja, parts of Rajputana were his Vassals.
Dharmapala, the pious Buddhist King of Pala dynasty is best known for Vikramshila University. Along with Nalanda University, it became the excellent center of Buddhism studies in India.
The Vikramshila university is located at Kahalgaon near Bhagalpur in Bihar.
Dharampala had also built a Vihara at Somapuri, another at Paharpur and yet another Vihara at Odantapuri.
After 40 years rule, Dharmapala was succeeded by his son Devapala (810 AD to 850 AD).