• 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.

Vikramshila University

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.

  • These five places viz. Nalanda, Vikramshila, Somapuri, Paharpur and Odantapuri are called Five Mahaviharas.
  • The Vikramshila University was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1200 AD.
  • Atisa Dipankara, who is founder of Sarma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, was a scholar at Vikramshila University.

After 40 years rule, Dharmapala was succeeded by his son Devapala (810 AD to 850 AD).

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