The old name of Aihole was Ayyavole and Aryapura. Chalukya kings built 125 temples here and made the place their capital.
Chalukyas ruled most of the Southern part of India from 543 to 753. They declared their independence from the rulers of Kadamba dynasty. The earlier Chalukyas were known as Badami Chalukyas and Pulakeshin II was the most popular king of his time. After the death of Pulakeshin II, Eastern Chalukyas made their independent kingdom. Rashtrakuta tried to win over the Badami Chalukyas but the descendants of Chalukyas over powered them.
Pulakeshin I changed his capital to Badami which is nearby Aihole. On the basis of the temples constructed in Aihole, Chalukya kings also built temples in Pattadakal. The construction of the temples in Aihole was started in 5th century which went to 12th century.
Pulakeshin II ruled from 610 to 642AD and was a Vaishnav. Ravikriti was the court poet of Pulakeshin II who wrote inscriptions related to the king. The language used to write the inscription is Sanskrit based on Kannada script. The inscription describes the victory of Pulakeshin II over Harsha Vardhana. Pulakeshin II also had conflict with the Pallavan kings.
There is a legend regarding Aihole according to which Rishi Parshuram killed the killer of his father and came to the river to wash his hands and the weapon. Due to this the water of the river turned red. A lady saw this and screamed Ayyo Hole which meant Oh no! Blood! So the place came to be known as Aihole.