Pala period is the most significant phase in the history of Buddhism in India. Enumerate. (Answer in 150 words) 10


  • Introduction to the Pala dynasty
  • The Pala era as the last significant phase of Buddhism
  • Main features of Pala art
  • Suitable conclusion


The term “Pala” originates from Sanskrit, denoting “protector,” and was affixed to the titles of the emperors, resulting in the name “Pala” for the empire. Gopala is attributed as the founder of the Pala empire, around AD 750. From the 8th to the 12th century, the Pala dynasty governed the eastern region of India.


  • Pala art, also known as Pala-Sena art or Eastern Indian art, thrived in the regions encompassing present-day Bihar and West Bengal in India, as well as Bangladesh.
  • During the Pala period, Buddhism experienced its final significant phase, with monasteries like Nalanda and Vikramsila serving as vital centers for Buddhist learning and art. Manuscripts were adorned with depictions of Vajrayana Buddhist deities on palm leaves.
  • The Palas embraced Buddhism as their state religion, constructing temples with roofs resembling Buddhist stupas, also known as Bangla roofs, a style known as the Anda style.
  • Additionally, the Pala dynasty marked the concluding major ruling dynasty in India that provided significant state support and patronage to Buddhism, which faced a rapid decline in India after the dynasty’s downfall.
  • Notably, the growth of the Pala Dynasty’s art and architecture gave rise to the distinct “Pala School of Sculptural Art,” reflecting regional aspects of Bengali society.
  • Pala art and architecture emphasized terracotta, sculpture, and painting, with masterpieces such as Dharmapala and the renowned intellectual hub of Somapura Mahavihara at Paharpur.
  • Vikramshila Vihar, Odantpuri Vihar, and Jagaddal Vihar all boasted monumental constructions attributed to the Palas, while the period saw flourishing bronze sculptures and meticulous architectural expansions.
  • The use of terracotta plaques as unique wall decorations marked another highlight of the artistic brilliance of the Pala period, showcasing the distinctive creativity of Bengal artists.


The Pala dynasty created a conducive environment for the flourishing of Buddhist monasteries and the unrestricted exchange of ideas across various South Asian nations.

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