Translation:India has many ancient traditions.
I personally think uralt is ok, but steinalt or simply sehr alt (there is no such thing as very ancient, so ancient is very old, right?)
or ogygisch (never heard of that, but it is an alternative for very old according to the Duden website)
Indien hat viele Traditionen mit langem Bart. might be a rather weird way of saying it.
India has many traditions old as the hills. ?
No, in this case "viel" is like another adjective (not exactly, as "viel" doesn't usually inflect like other adjectives, but for all intents and purposes, it acts like another adjective here). When there is no article (strong inflection), plural accusative adjectives take an -e, hence viele and alte.
I think your confusion probably stems from the fact that "viel" seems like a word that should alter inflection. A quick summary of what words alter inflection:
- Weak inflection: definite articles and other "definite words" (like "dies", "welch", "jed-", "alle" and "beide"
- Mixed inflection: indefinite articles (ein, kein) and possessives (mein, dein, etc.)
- Strong inflection: no article (but also after etwas, viel, wenig, einig, etc.)
It may help to think about the "definiteness" of these words. For example, "dies" (dieser, diese, etc.) and "jed" (jeder, jede, etc.) are definite in the way that you are talking about "this" one or "every" one, so they take weak inflection for being definite, whereas "viel" isn't as definite. It's "a lot" or "many" but nothing more specific than that.
Also, in case you need it, here's a summary of adjective endings for each inflection type.
I go back to why alte is used here instead of uralte. In my head I would translate “alte Traditionen” as old traditions instead of ancient, like how “the old man” would be “der alte man”.
Is there a reason “alte” covers such a wide gamut of time from old to ancient? Is German less precise about time in conversation, for instance?