The Nifty also retreated from its life highs, but managed to close above the crucial 11,000-mark.
The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) touched a record high of 11,171.55 points during intra-day trade.
Brokers said investors took money off the table and adopted a cautious stance ahead of the Union Budget on February 1. The BSE Sensex fell about 250 points to end at 36,033.73, while the broader NSE Nifty dropped 80 points to 11,049.65. It had ended at a lifetime high of 11,130.40 yesterday.
Key Indian equity indices on Tuesday slipped into the negative territory - a day after scaling record highs - as broadly negative global cues and heavy selling pressure in banking, metals and IT stocks subdued investor sentiments. "Weakness in global peers attracted profit booking in domestic indices ahead of US FOMC meeting starting on Tuesday. However earnings surprises continued to keep buying interest intact", said an analyst.
Globally, Asian stocks finished mostly higher as oil resumed its ascent, Intel reported record quarterly revenue and the USA dollar steadied after recent weakness on concerns about trade spurred by President Trump's administration officials. Investors are also looking forward to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's Budget on Thursday - his last full Budget in the central government's current term.
Other laggards were Axis Bank, Dr Reddy's, Adani Ports, Reliance Industries, Wipro, ICICI Bank, TCS, Yes Bank, HDFC Ltd, Infosys, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, NTPC, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, ITC and HDFC Bank.