In eastern India, Pala dynasty was founded by Gopala (8th century). As the names of all the succeeding kings ended with ‘Pala’ this dynasty come to be known as the ‘Pala’ dynasty.
The son and grandson of Gopala - Dharmapala and Devapala greatly extended the power and prestige of the Pala dynasty. Though their expansion towards west was checked by the Pratiharas, the Palas continued to rule over Bihar and Bengal for nearly four centuries with a small break.
The Pala kings were the followers of Buddhism. They greatly promoted this religion by making monasteries (viharas) and temples in eastern India. Dharmapala is known to have founded the famous Vikramashila university near Bhagalpur in Bihar. Like Nalanda university, it attracted students from all parts of India and also from Tibet.
Many Sanskrit texts were translated into Tibetan at this monastery. The most celebrated name associated with Vikramashila University was that of Atisha Dipankara who was greatly respected in Tibet.