The Tripartite Struggle describes the period between the 8th century and the 10th century CE in which India witnessed a struggle for the resources of the Gangetic Plains. The three parties involved in this struggle were the dynasties of the Rashtrakutas in the south, the Palas of Bengal in the east and the Pratiharas reigning from Malwa in the west.
The Pratihara ruler, Vatsaraja, wanted to take control of the city of Kannauj and its environs, as did the Pala ruler, Dharmapala. This brought the two rulers into conflict and during this time the Rastrakuta king, Dhruva,
attacked both combatants and claimed to have won. Dharmapala however
somehow gained control over the territory and set his nominee on the
Towards the end of the 8th century, Vatsaraja's successor, Nagabhata II,
successfully attacked Kannauj and established control there. This was
short-lived as he was soon after defeated by the Rastrakuta ruler, Govinda III.
However, he was kept busy in internal politics by an alliance of
different kingdoms in the south. The struggle for Kannauj became serious
after the Pratiharas exercised control over it.
During the rule of Krishna III, there was successful campaign against
the Cholas. The Rastrakutas also formed a matrimonial relationship with
the Gangas and defeated the kingdom of Vengi. By the end of the 9th
Century the power of the Rastrakutas started to decline along with the
Palas. This was seen as an ideal opportunity by the feudal king Taila II
who defeated the Rastrakuta ruler and declared his kingdom there. This
came to be known the Later Chalukya dynasty. Their kingdom included the
states of Karnataka, Konkan and northern Godavari. By the end of the
tripartite struggle, the Pratiharas emerged victorious and established
themselves as the rulers of central India.