Pala dynasty was founded by Gopala in 750 AD, who was a chieftain earlier but later became the king of Bengal. In fact, he was the first Buddhist king of Bengal. He had established his dominance after Gauda dynasty lost their stronghold in Kamarupa. When he died, Bengal and most of the part of Bihar was under his control.
Gopala is credited with constructing a monastery at the Odantapuri in Bihar.
Dharmapala succeeded Gopala. He ruled for a period of 770-810 AD. The Palas became the most powerful kingdom in the Northern and Eastern India during his reign.
He fought a prolonged war against the Gurjar Pratihara and Rashtrakutas. Despite his humiliating defeat against the Gurajara Pratihara King Nagabhatta II, he managed to salvage the pride of Pala empire and extended his kingdom to entire Bengal and Bihar.
Dharmapala, a pious Buddhist king founded Vikramshila University, which was a renowned centre of Buddhism studies in India. The university is located at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur, Bihar.
Dharmapala was succeeded by Devapala. He extended his kingdom to Assam, Odisha and Kamarupa. During his reign, Pala armies carried out a very successful campaign.
After Devapala, many lesser known kings sat on the throne. Then Mahipala became the king of Pala kingdom. He ruled the kingdom from 995 AD to 1043 AD. Known as the second founder of the Pala Dynasty, he recovered all the lost territories of the Pala empire.
The successors of Mahipala were weak and couldn’t hold the empire intact.