Astana is the capital of Kazakhstan since 1997 with population of 835,153 (2014 census). Astana in Kazakh literally means "the Capital". Previous names are Akmoly, Akmolinsk, Tselinograd and Akmola. The city is located in central part of the country on the Esil river in a very flat, semi-arid steppe region. The elevation of Astana is 347 m (1,138 ft) above sea level, making it one of the flattest capital cities on the planet that hosts annual marathon. Astana is the second coldest capital city in the world after Ulaanbataar, Mongolia.