The Arched-hill symbol is a fairly current symbol on ancient Coinage of India. There are some variations to the number of the hills depicted, or the symbol surmounting the hill, such as a crescent or a star.
It is thought that the three-arched hill symbol was initiated during the Maurya Empire (3rd–2nd century BCE). Later, in coins from Taxila dated from 220 BCE, the three-arched symbol appears regularly, and from 185 BCE is regularly associated with the animal figures of the elephant and the lion. In contrast, the Nandipada is generally associated with the zebu bull. On coins of the Shunga period, the three-arched hill can appear among a multitude of other symbols, such as the Nandipada, the tree-in-railing, the elephant, or the empty cross.
The symbol is generally considered a representation of a Buddhist Chaitya or a Meru. It has also been argued that it was the imperial symbol of the Mauryas. The symbol however, appears in many post-Mauryan contexts as seen with the coins of Taxila and the Shungas.
A Sunga coin (150 BCE-100 CE) with three-arched hill (reverse, top left) among other symbols.
An Arched-hill symbol on the reverse of this Maurya Empire coin.
Single-die local coinage of Taxila. Column and arched-hill symbol (220-185 BCE).
A six-arched hill symbol on Pope John Paul I coat of arms. Fairly common in other coats of arms in Italy.
- "The crescented three- arched hill symbol, seems to have originally been adopted by Chandragupta Maurya." Malwa Through the Ages, from the Earliest Times to 1305 A.D, Kailash Chand Jain Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1972 
- CNG Coins
- CNG Coins
- "symbols generally called as three- or six- or multiple-arched hill or chaitya" Tribal Coins of Ancient India - Devendra Handa - 2007 Page 197
- "Let us examine the symbol of Hillocks. The three arched hill symbols called variously as Meru, Chaitya etc. with its several variations, for example with five arches," six arches, » three arches of which one is placed above the two..." Seminar Papers on the Local Coins of Northern India, Awadh K Narain - 1968, p.193
- Coin Splendour: A Journey Into the Past, Prasanna Rao Bandela, Abhinav Publications, 2003, p.28