PALA DYNASTY Pala Dynasty which ruled Bengal and a part of Bihar from 750 AD to 1162 AD , the Kings of which were followers of the Mahayana Buddism . And a few of them followed the Tantric School of Buddhism . ‘ Pala ‘ is a Bangla Language word which means a ‘Protector’ . The PALA DYNASTY was founded by GOPALA in 750 AD at GAUDA . The major cities of the PALA DYNASTY were : GAUDA , MUNGHYR , PATALIPUTRA , VIKRAMPURA , SOMAPURA , VARENDRA , TAMRALIPTI and JAGGADALA . Mention about the origin of the PALA DYNASTY has been made in the KHALIMPUR Copper Plate Inscription which says that the first Pala King GOPALA was the son of a warrior named as VAPYATA . The said Inscription also mentions that he was the elected king of the PALA DYNASTY. The Ethnic origin of the King GOPALA is unknown . However , some call him a Khatriya , the other a Brahmin and some others a Kayastha . But most of them consider him an elected Ruler by the people or by the group of people . As the Central and Lower Ganjetic valley of Bihar and Bengal got internal disorder due to external aggression and inglorious Rulers of the GUPTA DYNASTY with the death of JIVITAGUPTA-2 in 725 AD , the whole region got disturbed . At this crucial moment the credit goes to GOPALA , the founder of the PALA DYNASTY , who rescued the people of the region with utmost valour .
The list of the Pala Kings ruling Bihar and Bengal is big . If I simply mention their names and their period of rule , the better , as it is not going to serve the purpose of the blog . As the blog demands their unique contributions which enriched the History and Cultures of Bihar . However , their names and periods of their rule according to a historian like Dilip Kumr Gaungly (1994 ) in his book “Ancient India , History and Archaelogy” has been enumerated as follows : GOPALA ( 750-774 AD ) , DHARAMPALA ( 774-806 AD ) , DEVAPAL ( 806-845 AD ) , MAHENDRAPALA ( 845-860 AD ) , SHURAPALA-1 ( 860-872 AD ) , VIGRAHPALA ( 872-873 AD ) , NARAYANAPALA ( 873-927 AD ) , RAJYAPALA ( 927-959 AD ) , GOPALA-2 ( 959-976 AD ) , VIGRAHAPALA-2 ( 976-977 AD ) , NAHIPALA-1 ( 977-1027 AD ) , NAYAPALA ( 1027-1043 AD ) , VIGRAHAPALA-3 ( 1043-1070 AD ) , MAHIPALA-2 ( 1070-1071 AD ) , SHURAPALA ( 1071-1072 AD ) , RAMAPALA ( 1072-1126 AD ) , KUMARAPALA ( 1126-1128 AD ) , GOPALA-3 ( 1128-1143 AD ) , MADANAPALA ( 1143-1161 AD ) , GOVINDAPALA ( 1161-1165 AD ) , PALAPALA ( 1165-1200 AD ) . *
THE UNIVERSITY OF VIKRAMASHILA The University of VIKRAMASHILA was founded by DHARAMPALA . It is located on the Bank of river the Ganges at the Patharghat Hill near Bhagalpur . In the 11th century , its famous abbot DIPANKARA SHRIJANA on the invitation of the then Tibatian King , visited Tibet to teach the people there about the MAHAYANA philosophy of Buddhism . It was then the UNIVERSITY OF VIKRAMASHILA came into limelight . For many years it remained the centre of TANTRICISM as such . However , when in 1206 AD , the Tibatian Monk DHARMASVAMIN visited the UNIVERSITY OF VIKRAMASHILA , he found the UNIVERSITY completely destroyed .
ODANTAPURI VIHARA The ODANTAPURI VIHARA was founded by GOPALA . It was located near modern day Bihar Sharif . This MAHAVIHAR became famous during the Pala period in the 9th century as such . It was near the famous NALANDA UNIVERSITY . Here only those students were enrolled who could not get admission in the UNIVERSITY OF NALANDA or the UNIVERSITY OF VIKRAMASHILA . The great Buddhist scholar , SHANTARAKSHITA ( 706-762 AD ) of NALANDA UNIVERSITY, had built the first Buddhist Monestry in Tibet Platue at BSAM-YA . It was on the model of the ODANTAPURI VIHARA . He with his disciples like KAMALASHILA & PADMASAMBHAVA translated several Pali Buddhist books into Tibatian language Which had sizable effects on the peopleof Tibet . Such was the importance of these Monestries of Bihar . When the world was sleeping , we created treasures of knowledge by creating these Monestries called , later on , as UNIVERSITIES . But a wicked and fanatic invader MOHAMMED BAKHTIYAR KHILJI destroyed all the three UNIVERSITIES in 1199 AD , their books were burned for years , their Manuscripts were destroyed and the Monks were butchered like animals . And he named the place of ODANTAPURI as Bihar Sharif . But he couldn’t destroy our Genes . That’s why this blog …..etc .
*Gaungly , Dilip Kumr : Ancient India , History and Archaelogy (1994 ) , pp-33-41 .