The BSE Sensex sank about 250 points to end at 36,033.73 today as investors booked profits in recent outperformers, while caution prevailed ahead of the Union Budget due later this week.
The Nifty also retreated from its life highs but managed to close above the crucial 11,000-mark.
The 30-share Sensex, after opening a shade lower at 36,277.12, continued its slide to crack the 36,000-mark and hit a low of 35,993.41 during the day. It finally settled at 36,033.73, down 249.52 points, or 0.69 percent.
The index had gained 232.81 points yesterday and closed at a record high of 36,283.25.
The Nifty too closed lower by 80.75 points, or 0.73 percent, at 11,049.65 after hitting a low of 11,033.90.
It had ended at a lifetime high of 11,130.40 yesterday.
Brokers said investors took money off the table and adopted a cautious stance ahead of the Union Budget on February 1.
They also adopted a wait-and-watch mode ahead of the US Federal Reserve's two-day monetary policy meeting.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 291.86 crore on a net basis while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) also picked up equities to the tune of Rs 90.08 crore yesterday, provisional data showed.