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Matsanayam (meaning fish-like world) is a term which refers to the period of anomie in Classical Bengal during the 6th and 7th centuries. After the collapse of the Gauda Kingdom, the region descended into a century of strife and invasions, and was divided amongst numerous warring kings and chieftains. The era ended with the election of Gopala as the King of Gauda in 750 CE, in what was the first democratic election in South Asian history. Gopala later founded the Pala Empire, one of the great imperial powers of classical India.


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