Facts of Ancient India -3


The Palas were one of the greatest empires of north India with Bengal as the seat around the 8th century C.E. They had conflict against the Pratiharas and Rashtrakutas.

  • Gopala (750 – 775 C.E)

Sasanka was the contemporary of Harsa. After Sasanka, Gopala was elected as the king by the nobles and he is considered as the founder of the Palas.

  • Dharmapala (775 – 810 C.E)

He was the son and successor of Gopala. He is the greatest ruler of the dynasty. He defeated many rulers of Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Rajputana, Malwa, Berar and captured Kanauj. Dharmapala consolidated his power in the north and placed Devapala on the throne. He was a capable ruler and transformed Bengal from a kingdom to an empire. He fought many battles against Pratiharas, but he was defeated twice. But he did not leave his courage and took advantage of the conflict between Pratiharas and Rashtrakutas and succeeded in creating and governing an empire in the north.

He assumed the titles Parameswara, Parambhattaraka, Maharajadhiraja. He founded the famous Vikramaditya monastery, a great centre of Buddhist learning. He married Rana Devi, the daughter of Rashtrakuta king Prabala and gave birth to his son Devapala.

  • Devapala (810 – 850 C.E)

Devapala was the worthy son of a worthy father. He was also in conflict with the Pratihara ruler Nagabhatta II. His military campaigns were successful with the rulers of Assam, Utkal and also defeated the rulers of Rashtrakutas and Pandyas of the south. He was a patron of Buddhist literature and fine art.


After the Palas, the Senas succeeded and built an empire in Bengal. Hemanta Sena established the Sena dynasty. But the greatest ruler was his son Vijayasena. He united the entire Bengal and brought it under his rule. Hence, he is the real founder of the Sena dynasty. They believed in Hinduism and contributed to the revival of Hinduism and Sanskrit literature in Bengal. Jayadeva is the author of Halayudha and Gitagovinda was patronised by them.


The Paramaras of Malwa were well established in the 9th century C.E with Dhara as their capital. The original homeland of the Paramaras was Mt. Abu. They were the feudatories of Rashtrakutas. The Paramara kingdom was found by Upendra Krishna Raja. Siyaka II also known as Harsasimha extended the kingdom. He plundered the capital of Rashtrakutas Manyakheta.