The Pala Dynasty :
There is a gap in the historical account of the period between the reign of Balavarman III and Tyagasingha, the last king of Mlechchha dynasty. Tyagasingha possibly died childless, but the danger of rebellion centering round his heirless death was tactfully avoided by the officers by choosing Brahmapala to the throne. This is evident from the Bargaon grant of Ratnapala which states:”Seeing that the twenty-first of them (the line of Salastambha ), the illustrious Tyagasingha by name had departed to heaven without leaving any of his heir to succeed him, his officials, thinking it well that a Bhauma (of Naraka’s race) should be appointed as their lord chose Brahmapala from along his kindred to be their king on account of his fitness to undertake the government of the country,”According to the Hara-Gauri-Sambada, the family of Madhava, who is identified with Salastambha, was followed by that of Jitari, who ruled for eight generations.
The epigraphs of the Palas also give the names of eight kings beginning with Brahmapala and Jitari were the same person. Brahmapala possibly hailed from the western part of the kingdom of Kamarupa for which he is said to have come from the Dravida country in the Hara-Gauri Sambada. The title ‘Pala’ is an abbreviation of the Sanskriti term Palaka, which means protector, i.e., a ruler or administrator. It seems that this title was a popular one among the rulers of north eastern India of the time and in imitation of the contemporary Pala kings of Bengal, Brahmapala also assumed that title. Brahmapala’s reign may be placed between 990-1010 A.D.
Towards the close of rule of the Salastambhas, Pundravardhana passed on to the hands of Bengal’s ruler. The western boundary of the Kamrupa kingdom at the time of Brahmapala’s accession to the throne was, therefore, again regressed to the river Karatoya. Brahmaputra abdicated the throne in favour of his son Ratnapala. Ratnapala (c.1010-40A.D) was a powerful king. He made several land-grants. He shifted the capital city of his kingdom of Pragjyotishpur, strongly fortified it and named it as Durjaya or Sri Durjaya (impregnable).He defeated a king of Gouda named Rajyapala,which is evident from an inscription belonging to one of his successors, Gopala.
Ratnapala appears to have encouraged trade and commerce as well as learning and education. Ratnapala’s son Indrapala (c.1040-65A.D.) defeated Kalyana Chandra, son of Sri Chandra of Bengal and to mark this victory made land-grants in Pundravardhana to a Brahmana hailing from Sravasthi. Indrapala married Rajyadevi, a Rashtrakuta princess. He was succeeded by his son Gopala (c.1065-85), who was a man of merit and intelligence. His Grachtal inscription contains important information about his predecessors. During the reign of the next king Harshapala (c.1085-95), Jatavarman, king of East Bengal snatched away a part of Pundravardhana, then under the sovereign rule of Kamarupa. However, this was soon recovered by Dharmapala (c.1095-1120), son and successor of Harshapala.
Three inscription belonging to Dharmapala’s reign are found, which speak about his prowess and manifold qualities. He was a great patron of religion and learning and himself a poet. The first eight verses of the Pushpabhadra grant were composed by him. Towards the end of his reign,Dharmapala was conducting his administration from his capital at Kamarupanagar,which can be considered only as an extension of the old city of Pragjyotishpur to North Guwahati. Jaypala, the son of Dharmapala, who is identified by P.C. Choudhury with Ramchandra mentioned in Ram Charita of Sandhyakaranandi, ruled sometime between 1120-30A.D. During his reign, Kamarupa was attacked by Mayana, the general of Ramapala, the Pala king of Bengal,and as a result of the war,the Kamarupadhipati lost his possession in North Bengal.
The Bengal king placed Tingyadeva as his vassal king in the part. Later when Tingyadeva rebelled, Ramapala’s son Kumarapala, who then ruled Gauda, sent Vaidyadeva to suppress him. Vaidyadeva not only suppressed Tingyadeva,but also conquered Kamarupa and declared his independence in 1138 A.D..He assumed the title Maharajadhiraja Parameswara Paramabhattaraka.