attention of the Arab traveller, Sulaiman.
Mahendrapala I Bhoja was succeeded by his son Mahendrapala I. His
most notable achievement was the conquest of Magadha and northern
Bengal. Mahendrapala I was a liberal patron of men of letters. The most
brilliant in his court was Rajasekhara who has to his credit a number of
literary works Karpuramanjari, Bala Ramayana, Bala and Bharata,
Mahipala Mahendrapala’s death was followed by a scramble for the
possession of the throne. At first his son, Bhoja II seized the throne. But his
halfbrother Mahipala soon usurped the throne. Once more, the Rashtrakutas
sapped the strength of the Pratihara empire when its ruler, Indra III,
completely devastated the city of Kanauj.
But the withdrawal of Indra III to the Deccan enabled Mahipala to
recover from the fatal blow. The Arab traveller al-Masudi, who visited India
in the year AD 915–16, refers to the power and resources of the king of
Kanauj whose kingdom extended up to Sind in the west and touched the
Rashtrakuta kingdom in the south. The Arab chronicler testifies to the
struggle between the Rashtrakutas and the Pratiharas as well as the
formidable force at the disposal of the latter.
Later Rulers Mahendrapala II, son and successor of Mahipala, was able to
maintain the strength of his empire in tact. But it received its shattering blow
during the reign of Devapala when the Chandellas became virtually
independent. The process of decline of the Pratihara empire which had begun
with Devapala accelerated with the reign of Vijayapala. The Pratihara empire
was already a spent force when Rajyapala, the successor of Vijayapala came
to the throne of Kanauj in the last decade of the 10th century AD. A certain
Yashapala, referred to in an inscription of the year 1036, was perhaps the last
ruler of the line.
Gopala The death of Sasanka was followed by anarchy and confusion
resulting in political disintegration which marked the course of the history of
Bengal from AD 650 to 750. The anarchy and confusion led to a natural
reaction. The leading men of Bengal supposedly elected Gopala as the ruler